ARCHBOLD – An Archbold refuse service is fighting counterfeiters by introducing a redesigned garbage tag with a security feature.
Wauseon residents will be the first recipients of the updated ARS Refuse Service garbage tag, beginning May 5. According to Michele Ryder, vice president of sales and marketing, the new version will be extremely difficult to reproduce. Not only will the color, width, and layout of the tag change completely, it will be marked with a die cut security code and serial numbers.
“We have several checks and balances now,” Ryder said. “And with the security code we can track tags better.”
The new tag will be introduced in the next calendar year to the four Fulton County communities the company serves. As with Wauseon, the price will not increase.
Current ARS tags will be accepted in Wauseon only until May 2. Beginning May 5, all customers must use new tags.
Ryder met with Wauseon City Council members in February to elicit support for the new garbage tag. Since the beginning of 2013, the company has experienced widespread problems with reproductions of the current tag.
“We were seeing a large difference in the number of tags we were selling and the amount of refuse we were taking in,” Ryder said. “It just got too out of control.”
The differences in the counterfeit tags were mostly undetectable to the naked eye, she said. Many were just a fraction of an inch less in width than an actual tag.
That made it difficult for ARS refuse collectors to work quickly and efficiently and still detect fakes, Ryder said. She said the new tag is designed to make counterfeiting virtually impossible.
“This is a major monetary undertaking for us. It was worth our investment to make this happen,” she added.
ARS will advertise the change on its Facebook page and at arsrefuse.com, and will advise each county community involved when it will occur in their area.
Wauseon tag vendors, such as Chief Supermarket and Circle K, will carry the new tag prior to May 2. Tag purchase locations will not exchange old tags for new.
Wauseon residents will be able to exchange their old tags for new ones specifically on the following dates at the following locations:
• Friday, April 4, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, April 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Chief Supermarket, 810 N. Shoop Ave.
• Thursday, April 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Wauseon city offices, 230 Clinton St.
• Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Circle K, 1497 N. Shoop Ave.
Customers may also exchange tags from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the ARS office, 200 Taylor Pkwy., in Archbold.