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Published: Thursday, 11/10/2011

Columns

City's new trash collector strives for smooth transition

BY DAVID VOSSMER

Have you noticed any change in your household waste collection lately? If you're a Toledo resident, Republic Services hopes your answer is: "Not really."

My company is now responsible for collection of waste and recyclables in Toledo. To make things easy for residents, we've kept most of the process the same -- with just a few basic changes that are aimed at improving the level of service you experience.

The trucks that collect your waste and recyclables are the same. We bought them from the city and are adding images of Toledo scenes to the sides of the trucks. Many of the drivers are the same too.

The waste and recyclables carts are the same -- the gray cart for waste and the blue cart for recycling.

Toledo residents should use the same phone number -- 419-936-2511 -- for questions and complaints about waste collection. And you continue to pay for waste collection through your water bill.

So what did change? The LEAP Forward Program has been eliminated. No more trying to remember what day to set out collectibles.

Collection days will remain on the current schedule indefinitely. On six major holidays, collection will be pushed back one day with Saturday pickup; the regular schedule will resume the following week.

The rate you are paying has changed slightly: $8.95 a month for waste and recyclables collection. Residents 65 and older who qualify for the homestead exemption pay $5. Residents who choose not to recycle do not incur additional costs; the fee remains the same.

For those who do recycle, Republic Services has instituted My Republic Rewards, a program that rewards residents for reducing the amount of material that goes into the city landfill.

Each time registered city residents recycle, they will earn points they can redeem for discounts and deals at hundreds of local and national restaurants, retailers, and entertainment venues that are our partners in the program.

Participation is free, but residents must register and sign up for home recycling, using the unique personal identification number that all city residents have gotten in the mail. Registration is available online at myrepublicrewards.com or by calling the My Republic Rewards customer service department at 888-727-2978.

When you register online, follow the prompts to create an account, then sign up for home recycling by selecting "Earn Points" and then "Home Recycling." Entering your ID number will link your account to your address.

The Web site includes a list of participating merchants where you can redeem your recycling points. Points are awarded based on the total weight of recyclables on each collection route, divided among all households that contributed to that week's recycling collection. One pound of recyclables earns 2.5 points.

With the cooperation of Mayor Mike Bell's administration, City of Toledo workers, and Lucas County commissioners, our transition has been smooth. We plan to continue to provide city residents with top-quality service, and we appreciate your business.

David Vossmer is general manager of Republic Services Toledo.



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