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Cheaper trash rates, rewards for recycling

September 01, 2010 - Soon, Oxford Village residents will have the best of both worlds – a cheaper monthly garbage bill and rewards based on how often they recycle.

It's all thanks to the village's new three-year waste collection and disposal contract with the Flint-based Richfield Equities, LLC.

Council last week formally approved the contract along with the new rubbish collection fees for residential and commercial properties, which will take effect Sept. 1.

On the residential side, the monthly trash bill will decrease from its current $14.22 under Waste Management to $11.31 – a savings of $2.91 or 17 percent.

That monthly rate will increase to $11.60 on Sept. 1, 2011 and $11.91 on Sept. 1, 2012.

All of the rates are subject to a fuel surcharge, which only takes effect if diesel prices rise to $3.50 per gallon or more.

If the price hits $3.50, the surcharge is 3 cents per gallon. From there, the surcharge increases by 3 cents for every 5 cents per gallon that diesel increases.

On the commercial side, those who use the central business district's 16 trash dumpsters and 2 cardboard recycling dumpsters will go from paying a monthly charge of $37 per unit to $22 per unit – a savings of $15 or 40 percent.

The commercial rate will increase to $23 per unit on Sept. 1, 2011 and $24 on Sept. 1, 2012.

The number of units assigned to a commercial property depends on what type of business it is and the volume of waste they produce, according to village Manager Joe Young.

For instance, the Mexican restaurant Casa Real has three units assigned to it, meaning under the new monthly rates, it will pay $66 as opposed to the $118 it was paying.

However, a clothing store like Ella Fashion is assigned one unit and will pay $22 per month.

Oxford Schools new administrative offices, located in downtown's historic Meriam building, have been assigned three units and will be charged $66 per month.

In addition to monthly savings, village residents will be offered bonuses through the Rewards for Recycling program that's offered through Richfield Equities.

The program keeps track of who's recycling and how often they're doing it. It does this through a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag attached to each recycling bin.

Every time the bin is set out by the curb, special equipment aboard the recycling collection truck detects the tag and records that a pickup was made at that household.

Each resident has a pre-allocated RFID number whether they're an active or inactive recycler. The names and addresses of each resident are already contained in a database.

Residents who recycle are eligible for various rewards, such as special discounts from local businesses, based on their level of participation as recyclers.

The progam's designed to increase the number of recyclers.

They can learn about the rewards they've earned by visiting the website To activate their account, a resident visits the website and enters their RFID tag number.

This opens their account and allows them to enter their e-mail address as a login name and choose a password.

Rewards are based on how frequently a customer recycles, not the amount of materials they recycle. These rewards will be coupons for local businesses' goods and services.

Although Richfield Equities takes over as the trash hauler on Sept. 1, the Rewards for Recycling program won't begin for four to six weeks or by Oct. 14.

Richfield is giving the village 1,000 brand new 18-gallon recycling bins, free of charge.

Although the village received them for free, council decided to continue charging residents $7 per bin based on the "overhead" cost of having Department of Public Works employees deliver them to houses.

All village residents will automatically be mailed an RFID tag, which they can either affix to their new recyling bin or place on their existing one, which they are free to continue using.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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