Fighting for Common Sense
in City Government

Trash Disposal Policy & Franchise Tax

More Trash from City Council
City Council recently passed an ordinance that impacts all home owners and small businesses in the city. It was passed with little public discussion -- not surprisingly, since it goes against public opinion.

Residents, upon receipt of the city-issued trash can (costing the city more than $4.7M), will be required to place all their non-recycliable trash in this single container. No longer can we use our own trash cans. Nothing can restrict the closure of the city-issued container's lid or it's an offense.  Should you have additional trash to dispose of, the city will no longer pick it up as before. You must make special arrangements.

For do-it-yourselfers, the ordinance  states that home construction and renovation materials may be disposed of, but then later classifies these materials as Unacceptable Waste unless its in its "original packaging". Apparently, homeowners must now pay for the private removal of these materials. And we thought we had a problem with unauthorized dumping before!

The ordinance states that you can't dispose of items with sharp edges that could penetrate human skin.  This makes sense, but why are trash collectors going through our trash or if they must, why aren't they properly clothed and trained? And why is this even an issue now, when the city is moving to automated trash collection?

It's now against the ordinance to dispose of excess trash in our neighbor's container, even with their permission. Excess trash must now be stored by the homeowner until there's room in their own container or they request a special pickup. Rats -- was the city's Health Dept. included in this decision?

Owners of small businesses and residences with more than four units must now pay for commercial trash removal, even though they are already paying the city (via their taxes) for trash removal. This is clear profit for the city at the cost of small business.

These observations caused me to review the city policy and records “justifying” this change.  Here are my observations:

• Why is there a $2M line item for the repair of the plastic trash cans?  Wouldn't it be more cost   effective to replace them?
• Why does it cost more than half a million dollars to police the use of the containers?
• An efficiency improvement of more than $2.6M is shown, yet not explained anywhere in the   ordinance and excludes the needed purchase of more automated side-loading trucks to receive   the savings, yet includes a "Vehicle purchase avoidance" savings of $500,000.
• Why is the efficiency savings only $2M over ten years when the cans cost more than twice that?
• And how did the city arrive at unbelievable $2.5M savings in Workers Comp Claims given this   program?

This type of reasoning wouldn’t pass muster in the private sector and shouldn’t be tolerated by the city. This new trash ordinance is a disservice to the community, homeowners, and the businesses we are tyring to attract and support in the city. And why are we on such a spending frenzy when we have so much debt and now layoffs?

John Donaldson
John is a long-time resident of Over-the Rhine and was instrumental in the creation of the newly formed “Save Cincinnati”,  group of concerned citizens working to restore common sense and transparency in our city government.


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