Chronology of the Trash and Recycling Ordinance

After months of debate and delays, the Carmel City Council passed the trash and recycling ordinance at the July 18, 2011 council meeting.

Thanks to all who actively engaged in the legislative process by contacting your councilors, participating in surveys, and raising your voice at council meetings. The City survey showed approximately 70% of respondents in favor of a city trash and recycling ordinance.  Over 400 residents (~95%) voted in favor of recycling on the CGI poll.   Over 42 residents spoke in support at various Council meetings.  The Carmel Clay School District, Carmel Chamber and various HOAs also supported the ordinance.

This page provides a brief chronology of the legislative process. Click here to learn about the trash & recycling program..

City Begins to Explore Options
The City began to study various options for providing trash and recycling service to residential customers in the Fall of 2008.  The City began conducting a preliminary assessment of HOAs and individuals, as well as survey other cities with this service, such as Westfield, Zionsville and Noblesville.
Council Decides to Go Out For Bids
Having completed the exploration phase, the Utilities Committee recommends going out for bids on May 10, 2010, and the Council approved.
Bids Come In
The City heard bids from Rays, Republics and Waste Management on October 20, 2010.
  • Republics                                 $8.02 to $9.90
  • Rays                                      $11.54 to $15.40
  • Waste Management                $12.33 to $15.28
  • Current rates paid by residents     $12 to $50
These bids tend to be lower than what most residents pay now.

Introduced to City Council
The ordinance for citywide trash and recycling was introduced to the City Council for First Reading on February 7, 2011.  To watch the video, go to the Council Meeting for February 7, 2011 This link will fast forward to First Reading of Ordinance D-2030-11..
Heard in Committee
Councilor Griffiths, chair of the Utilities Committee,  heard the ordinance on Thursday February 10th. The Utilities Committee is recommending a 5-year contract for weekly trash and bi-weekly recycling service for a monthly cost of $9.07 per homeowner (read more).  This is less than what most people pay today.  The Utilities Committee (including members Ron Carter and Eric Seidensticker) voted to move the recommendation to the City Council.
On Second Hearing
On February 21st, the City Council voted to amend the ordinance so it reflects what was recommended by the Utilities Committee and also set a date for a public hearing.
Public Hearing
Citizens had an opportunity to comment at the March 7th public hearing (view agenda).  There was great public input and support from a range of voices in our community including the Carmel Chamber, the Carmel Clay School District, Carmel Green Initiative, representatives from several Homeowner Associations and many residents as well as Carmel High School students.  You can watch it online.
In Utilities Committee
After taking public input, the ordinance was discussed again in Committee on March 14th to address some issues raised at the public hearing.  Contract language regarding fuel surcharge is being reviewed.  Despite the overwhelming turnout at the public hearing, councilors Snyder, Seidensticker and Accetturo appear to be leaning against the ordinance.
On Fourth Hearing - More Public Input, Siedensticker refers to Finance Committee
Though the ordinance remains in committee, Carmel residents commented for and against the ordianance at the March 21st City Council Meeting. Click here to view statements. Councilor Carter asked for a vote at the April 18th meeting. Councilor Seidensticker emphasizing need to address all remaining issues. Councilor Griffiths requested all committee members get answers to remaining issues prior to the next Utilities Committee meeting April 11. Siedensticker referred ordinance to the Finance Committee (Chair: Snyder) due to "numerical calculations and how that impacts."
Moves out of Utilities Committee
Remaining issues concerning the ordinance were resolved at the April 11th committee meeting. Committee Chair Joe Griffiths returned the ordinance to the City Council.
On Fifth Hearing - no discussion
Though the ordinance returned the from the Utitlieies Committee, Council President did not allow further discussion at the April 18th City Council Meeting as it remains in the Finance Committee. Click here to view council meeting video.
Stalled in Finance Committee
Council President Seidensticker referred the ordinance to the Finance Committee on March 21st.  As of May 10th, Finance Committee Chair Lucy Snyder had not held a meeting.  The Finance committee meeting scheduled on April 21st was cancelled. Given the broad community support of homeowners, HOAs, the Carmel Chamber, and the Carmel Clay school district, why hasn't it been possible to have a meeting?
On Sixth Hearing - More public input, Council makes comment
There was additonal public input in favor of the ordinance, and Councilor Sharp expressed some concern regarding the ordinance at the May 16 City Council meeting. Click here to see council meeting video. Our concerns about the bid expiring before the council could vote on it has been addressed. Councilor Seidensticker announced the Republic bid has been extended to June 30th. The ordinance remains in the Finance Committee.
In Finance Committee - Invites Ray's back to table, requests City flier and survey
Councilor Snyder invited Ray's to May 19th Finance Committee meeting to explain why their bid was high. Snyder says she would like to have two trash haulers serve the city. Councilors Sharp and Snyder express concerns about the ordinance and decided to delay a council vote in order to solicit yet more public input via a flier to be inserted in the City's utilities bill.  The Finance Committee has never solicited public input this way before. The issue of setting a dangerous precedent and what would be the litmus test for the future was raised, but no specific guidelines were discussed.
Because it will take several weeks to send the flier to all Carmel utility customers, Republic has agreed to extend their bid for a third time to August 1.  Under this scenario, it's possible the Council will vote on the ordinance on July 18th.
On 7th Reading - More public support, Council comments on Ray's letter
There was compelling public commentary in favor of a city trash and recycling program during at the June 6, 2011 Council meeting.  Fourteen citizens spoke in support and 1 individual spoke up against the program. Councilors Rider and Carter expressed dismay over the disingenuous  nature of the letter Ray's Trash Service sent its customers. Snyder described the flier which will be inserted in the Utilities bill.  Click here to view the Council meeting video.
In Finance Committee
There was no discussion of the ordinance at the June 16th Finance Committee meeting. Councilors Sharp, Snyder, Siedensticker and Acceturo have expressed reservations about the trash and recycling ordinance and are soliciting public input via a the City's Survey .
On 8th Reading - Council asks citizens to vote online
At the June 20, 2011 Council meeting, Councilors Snyder and Seidensticker remind  citizens to look for the flier which is being mailed to people in the Utilities bill and directed citizens to vote on the City's Survey. Click here to view the Council meeting video.

On 9th Reading - Council passes controversial program
Five citizens spoke in favor of the ordinance during the 'blue card' session at the July 18th, 2011 Council meeting. After months of debate and delays, the Carmel City Council amended and passed a controversial program.

Councilor Griffiths introduced provisions that reduce the first year rate to $8.82 and would require Council approval for any rate increases.

Despite overwhelming community support for a program with so many benefits, Councilors Sharp and Snyder introduced a controversial amendment which allows residents to opt out of the City’s program.   Opt out provisions are generally unheard of in municipal and HOA contracts.  The opt out provision weakens and changes the scope of the original contract so much that Republic could withdraw its bid.  In an effort to save the deal, Councilor Rider introduced another amendment which gives Republic the right to opt out of the contract if the number of households drops below 20,000.  Click here to view the Council meeting video.

On 10th Reading - Council re-sets Opt Out Period
At the Sept 6th council meeting, the Carmel City Council amended the City's trash and recycling program. Coiucilor Sharp moved to provide an opt out period from Sept 15th to Oct 15th, 2011. For more information about the opt out provision, please visit the City website.

We hope residents will take full advantage of the city’s program for the greater good of the community as well as their own pocketbook. Residents who choose to opt out of the program undermine many of the cost-effective, energy-savings and environmental benefits of having a single neighborhood provider.  If the opt outs disrupt the economies of scale such that Republic is forced to withdraw, it would deny thousands of citizens a tangible economic benefit. A few could spoil it for the many.  xx

Click here to learn more about the trash and recycling program..




Questions? Please contact Sue Maki at Carmel Utilities or visit Republic


The City program will serve single family homes and townhomes up to 4 units. The program does not apply to businesses or multifamily (4+) residences.

The City along with Republic Services is pleased to offer the City trash & recycling program to area businesses and organizations as a way to increase the level of recycling within the City as well as save the organizations money.  Read more.

The City program will replace all previous service agreements and is scheduled to begin in January 2012, but may vary by neighborhood.  Please plan accordingly during this transition so you don't end up with two trash haulers or none. Here's what to do...

  • If you are currently served by Republic either as an individual or through your HOA, there is nothing you need to do with regard to your contract. The new City contract will automatically supersede all existing Republic contracts in January 2012. Stay tuned for forthcoming info on totes and trash schedules.
  • If you are currently served by another trash hauler directly as an individual residential customer, you will need to give them notification of termination. Most contracts have a 30-60 day termination period.  Ray's Trash Service (317) 539-2024  Waste Management (800) 443-5646.   If your agreement cannot be terminated without a financial penalty, please contact Sue Maki at Carmel Utilities.
  • If you are currently served by another trash hauler through your HOA, please contact your HOA for details. Some HOA contracts expire later in the year and the City program may be delayed, so please check with your Homeowners Association.
    • Avian Glen will begin City service in July 2012. Totes will be delivered May/June. Please check back for details.

Residents beginning service in January 2012 will receive a wheeled 96 gallon tote for trash and a second wheeled 96 gallon tote for recycling between December 5th and December 31st.  Existing Republic customers who do not have a recycling tote will receive one.   Please note the trash and recycling totes will be delivered on different days.

If you will be out of town when the totes are delivered, please ask a neighbor to pull in your totes. If you can't make those arrangements, call Republic Services at 317-917-7300 ext 0.  Tell them your situation and ask for a delayed delivery.

Residents beginning service later in the year: A few HOA contracts expire later in the year and the City program may be delayed, so please check with your Homeowners Association for details.

After the initial delivery, if you determine that a different sized tote (48 or 65 gallon) will better fit your household needs, you may call Republic Services at 917-7300 ext. 0 for assistance.  Please note the footprint size of all three totes is similar so you are encouraged to go with the larger size for times when extra capacity is needed.

You may also request a third tote for trash OR recycling at no additional charge.

For those individuals with special needs who are physically unable to wheel their totes to the curb, Republic has a special service where they will wheel your tote down for you.   To get additional information contact Republic Services at 317-917-7300 x 0.


Available Tote Sizes:
Large -     96 Gallon,  H: 46 in.   D: 30 in.  W: 28 in
Medium - 65 Gallon,  H: 42 in.   D: 28 in.  W: 26 in
Small -     45 Gallon,  H: 38 in.   D: 29 in.   W: 24 in
These measurements are at the widest point which is at the top of the container.  The footprint size is a bit smaller for all of them.x

What to do with the old totes?  If your trash and recycling containers are owned by your current contractor, please give them a call to arrange for pick up.  Ray's Trash Service (317) 539-2024  Waste Management (800) 443-5646.

To dispose of your own containers, you may put them inside your recycling tote (if recyclable) or inside your trash tote at your convenience.   If it is too big to fit in your tote, there will be a special pick up during the weeks of February 6th through February 17th to properly dispose of your old container.  Just mark the container “For Recycle” or “For Trash” so Republic Services knows to pick up the container.

Weekly trash pick-up varies by location. Recycling pick-up will be every other week (A or B) on the same day as trash pick-up. Please view the map for your designated trash pick-up day and the calendar for your recycling schedule.

Please have your carts out by 7 a.m. and within 4 feet from the roadway.  Leave at least 3 feet clearance between carts and any other object, such as other carts, mailbox, trees, vehicles, etc.  Service on Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day and under severe weather will be delayed one day. Mon is picked up on Tues and Fri is picked up on Saturday.

In the event of significant inclement weather, trash and recycling services will run a day behind (i.e. if Monday service is cancelled, Monday customers are serviced Tuesday.  Friday customers are serviced on Saturday).   For updated information on weather related delayed schedules, refer to the City or Utilities websites at or or the Republic voicemail recording at 917-7300.

The program is set up so that trash has to fit inside the trash tote(s). The exception is landscape waste. During the months of April, May, October and November, each household is allowed 20 extra bags or bundles per week of Landscape waste.   Outside of these months, each household is allowed one 4 foot bundle of twigs/limbs that are tied and bundled in addition to the trash tote(s).

There are extra fees for trash that does not fit in your trash tote, so be sure to get the right size and number of totes to meet your household needs. Please note that the amount of trash produced by your household will significantly diminish when you start recycling.  Many families report putting out just 1 bag a week of trash when they recycle.


  • Up to 20 bags/bundles each week
    in spring (Apr/May) and fall (Oct/Nov)            No charge
  • Christmas Tree pick up                                   No charge
  • Extra totes (over the 3 mentioned above)        $5 per tote per month
  • Overage bags (55 gallon)                                $2.50 each
  • Bulky Item Pick-up                                         $10 per item

In the event of large amounts of extra waste, overage bags are available for purchase:

Utilities Billing Office
760 Third Ave. SW
Mon. – Fri. 8 am. to 5 pm.
Water Operations Office
3450 W. 131st Street
Mon. – Fri. 8 am. to 5 pm.
Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Site
(This location accepts checks only)
901 N. Range Line Road
Tues. – Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m. to Noon.

The City program provides for biweekly, comingled (single-stream) recycling for no additional charge. You'll be able to recycle a wide range of recyclable materials including plastics 1-7, plastic grocery bags, glass bottles, metal cans, paper, newspaper, magazines, phone books, soft cover books, cardboard, cereal box type packaging and more.   Please see List of Acceptable Recycling Items. Please do not bag the recyclables - just toss it all together.

The trash and recycling program will be billed and administered by Carmel Utilities for $8.82 per month. This is less than what most people pay today. Carmel Utilities will include billing on your water bill.  If you do not currently receive a water bill, you will be billed separately. The 5-year contract with Republic Waste Services includes a small annual increase ranging from 26-29 cents each year.  The contract was awarded to Republic because they were the low bidder.

Snowbirds and extended absence for more than a month will be able to suspend trash and recycling service.  To suspend your service, please contact the Carmel Utilities Customer Service Office at 317-571-2442.  This feature is not available for periods less than one month.

For large item pick-up, broken containers, ordering extra containers, container switch out, missed trash pick-up, special needs service, recycling questions etc. contact Republic Services at 317-917-7300 ext. 0 Mon - Fri between 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.or visit

For questions about your bill, extended absence notification or unresolved complaints with Republic Services, contact Carmel Utilities at 317-571-2266 Mon - Fri between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Residents who opted out during the opt out period may opt back in at any time by contacting Sue Maki at Carmel Utilities.  We encourage everyone to give the new program a try. Opting out weakens and undermines the City program with regard to energy-savings and protecting the environment in the following ways:

  • If just one household in your neighborhood chooses a different trash hauler, the neighborhood would revert back to having multiple garbage trucks driving through the neighborhood every week.
  • It will not help reduce the wear and tear on our roads and save taxpayer dollars, nor lead to safer streets and cleaner air for our children with multiple trash haulers servicing the area.
  • It will not save fuel and reduce carbon emissions which are national security issues.
  • It will not beautify neighborhoods when trash bins sit on the curbside on multiple days.
  • It does not address the issue the schools, churches and businesses are having when residents use their dumpsters. Those who were using school, church and business dumpsters can opt out of the City program.

We encourage residents to take full advantage of the city’SixGarbageTrucks_in_My_Neighborhoods trash and recycling program for the greater good of the community as well as your own pocketbook.  Check out this short video by Karl and Vaughn Niemiec which explains the impacts of having more than one trash hauler in your neighborhood.  Read more.



Contact Sue Maki
Manager of Customer Relations & Education for Carmel Utilities
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Fax: 571-2265
Contact Mayor Jim Brainard
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Contact your City Councilor
Not sure who that is?  Check out the Carmel City Council Map

D1 Rick Sharp This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
D2 Eric Seidensticker This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
D3 John Accetturo This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
D4 Joe Griffiths This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
D5 Luci Snyder This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
At large Ron Carter This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
At large Kevin Rider This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it