Mayor & City Commission Authorize 2017 Residential Waste Fee Rate, City to Restore Weekly Recycling

COVINGTON, KY – Tuesday evening, the Mayor and City Commission unanimously authorized the City’s 2017 Residential Waste Fee Rate and some changes within its Rumpke, Inc. Waste & Recycling Management Program. Specific changes include the transition from annual billing of waste removal fees, as managed by the City, to quarterly billing that will be managed by Rumpke, Inc., and the restoration of weekly recycling for residents. 

Effective January 1, 2017, all Covington single-family residents and multi-family units up to four will receive a quarterly bill from Rumpke, Inc. as opposed to an annual bill from the City. Additionally, questions pertaining to billing and payment will be handled by Rumpke, Inc.

Residents will receive four bills a year at a rate of $38.13 each as opposed to one large lump sum bill annually. Overall, residents will be paying a total of $152.52 annually as opposed to the current rate of $150.00.

Director of Finance & Operations Lisa Desmarais explained the numerous benefits of these changes, stating, “Through the implementation of quarterly billing, the City hopes that waste removal fee payments will be easier for residents when it comes to managing their personal budgets.

“Outsourcing waste removal services billing and collections saves the City time and money by freeing up Finance Department staff resources to focus more on serving the needs of the public.”

Key factors that contributed to the new waste fee rate include an increase in base pickup service fees charged to the City by Rumpke, Inc., an administration fee for billing and collection services, and removal of the City’s administrative overhead costs associated with managing the Waste Management & Recycling Program. 

City Manager Larry Klein stated, “This has been a goal of ours for the past year, to restore weekly recycling. We know how important it is for residents who currently recycle and with this change we hope to encourage more people to begin recycling. We have heard this message from residents and neighborhood associations during the past year.

“Thanks to the transition of billing and payment responsibilities from the City to Rumpke and quarterly payments, the City can reduce its overall overhead and allow for weekly recycling again, and at the same time make residents’ household budgets more manageable with lower, quarterly billing.”

In 2015, the City contracted with Rumpke, Inc. to provide its waste and recycling services and began implementing environmentally-friendly initiatives in an effort to make Covington a cleaner and greener place to live.

Solid Waste Coordinator Sheila Fields stated, “Weekly recycling will make recycling easier for residents. Residents won’t have to worry about keeping track of which week their recycling goes out and they can recycle more!  As the City looks at a residential participation rate of 47.69%, we hope the change in service will encourage more residents to do their part and recycle.”

Residents will receive their first quarterly bill this December from Rumpke. Additionally, the City anticipates implementation of weekly recycling to take effect mid-March 2017.