Solid Waste Management District board to finalize Rumpke agreement

A resolution that will allow the Bartholomew County landfill to begin accepting a limited amount of out-of-county trash will be finalized Thursday by the Solid Waste Management District board.

Last month, the board voted to allow no more than 2,000 tons of out-of-county refuse to be placed into the sanitary landfill at 811 E. County Road 450S, SWMD director Heather Siesel said. But only the landfill’s contract vendor, Rumpke Waste and Recycling, is being given approval to bring in out-of-county refuse, she said.

Although the decision was made in January, Siesel says Thursday’s meeting is a formal signing of a resolution to allow Rumpke to bring refuse to the Wayne Township facility.

According to the district’s website, the landfill already brings in 250 tons of trash a day, which amounts to 7,500 tons over a 30-day month.

While the resolution would increase the amount of garbage going in by about 27%, it is not expected to significantly shorten the landfill’s life, Siesel said.

“We just did the math with all the numbers from 2023,” Siesel said. “As things look now, we still have 64 years of life at the current landfill.”

Although it has been the policy of the SWMD to only accept refuse from Bartholomew County, it’s not exactly written in stone. The board voted to begin accepting trash from the Edinburgh area in February 2022, Siesel said. Some of the Edinburgh garbage is generated by Johnson County residents, she said.

The board will also vote for extending Rumpke’s contract with the SWMD that is currently set to expire Jan. 31, 2025. The Cincinnati-based company operates the working space of the landfill where trash is actually disposed, Siesel said.

The extension being discussed and voted on this week has the potential to provide two additional five-year extensions, she said.

Columbus is one of only six communities served by Rumpke. In contrast, there are 23 towns and cities in Ohio that rely on the company to dispose of their refuse. Rumpke also has contracts with 16 communities in Kentucky.

Besides the landfill, the Bartholomew County SWMD also operates municipal recycling, educational programs, a rural refuse collection system, a household hazardous waste collection program and a 10-acre municipal composting operation.