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New Contract Would Mean Big Price Increases For Columbus' Recycling Program

Sam Hendren
Recycling is sorted in a Rumpke center near the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

Columbus City Council votes Monday night on whether to accept the only bid to run the city’s recycling program. The vendor would stay the same and residents would still get free curbside recycling, but the city would pay a lot more.

Five years ago, Rumpke beat out two competitors to win the contract for city-wide recycling. That initial contract was for $30.1 million, or about $6 million a year.

Rumpke's latest proposal has a much bigger price tag: $44.3 million, which represents a nearly 50 percent increase.

The director of city public services says the proposal from Rumpke is the only one they received, so the city has to accept it or not offer recycling at all. She says that wasn’t considered as a viable option.

Rumkpe's current deal expires at the end of March.