Bethany Bruner, News Editor

Garbage bags lining the street on pick-up day are a thing of the past in the city of Oxford’s Mile Square Plus because of an ordinance passed July 19 by Oxford City Council.

Environmental Specialist David Treleaven said the new waste wheeler totes began being delivered by Rumpke last week. According to rental records, about 700 of the totes will need to be delivered. Treleaven said some properties within the Mile Square Plus were already utilizing these totes.

The cost to purchase a waste wheeler tote is $100 through Rumpke. Renting the totes is also an option that costs to $3 a month. Treleaven said students in rental properties should discuss with their landlords who is going to be responsible for paying for the new waste wheelers.

Treleaven encouraged students to rent their totes instead of trying to buy them from local hardware stores because if they’re rented through Rumpke, Rumpke is responsible for maintenance of the totes and replacing them if they become damaged.

Treleaven said the waste wheeler totes are being required as a result of the city seeing increased complaints about scavenging animals in years past.

“Part of the issue was people were putting things out in plastic bags, not trash containers, and animals were getting into the bags by tearing them open or because vandalism had caused the bags to be open,” Treleaven said.

He said the lids on the totes will also reduce the amount of wind- blown litter.

Another benefit of the new totes according to Treleaven is the reduction in possible leachate issues. Leachate is the name for what occurs when precipitation mixes with the garbage and becomes contaminated. Treleaven said leachate, if it gets loose, washes into the gutters and sometimes into creeks. The new totes will help prevent this from occurring.

The new waste wheeler totes are required within the Mile Square Plus, a map of which can be found on the city’s website.

The city of Oxford is specifying that for a property with one to four tenants, one waste wheeler is required. For five to eight tenants, two containers are required. For nine to 12 tenants, three containers are required. Any residence housing more than 12 tenants is required to have four containers.

Treleaven said the number of totes was determined based on industry averages for the amount of waste generated by four people.

Treleaven said a good way to reduce the amount of trash put out is to recycle. Recycling bins are available through Rumpke. To request a recycling bin, call city of Oxford Utility Billing at (513) 524-5221.