Scio Township Moving Toward a New Way For Trash and Recycling

Trash cans photographed on Jan. 2, along Zeeb Road in Scio Township.
photo by Lonnie Huhman

By Lonnie Huhman,

With the New Year underway, the Scio Township community should expect to see some coming changes with garbage and recycling collection.

Throughout the fall and going into last month, Scio Township officials continued to talk about and take steps toward becoming the community’s one solid waste and recyclables pick-up provider, working with one vendor.

The process toward this began in the fall of 2016, in a township newsletter township manager Bryce Kelley said at that time the board of trustees, “first indicated their desire to put a single municipal waste hauling vendor program in place.”

Kelley said currently there are no less than seven firms providing, “some form of these services in our residential areas.”

He said a typical garbage truck weighs 18 tons empty. With the number of providers serving the township some neighborhoods see up to twelve, 18 ton trucks, run up and down their streets every week, sometimes 4-6 times a day, according to Kelley.

Early last month, the township board met for a workshop to talk about this change. A revised ordinance has been drafted and the township expects the change to take place this spring.

Kelley said in the newsletter, “The truth of the matter is the township isn’t necessarily eager to jump into the trash and recycling service.”

“However, there are several reasons why it is the right thing to do now,” he said.

He said it will reduce heavy truck traffic on the local roads in Scio Township; focus on efficiencies of the trash and recycling services; provide the highest standards of service, experience and reliability at a competitive price; educate the customer in trash diversion, waste reduction and recycling practices; help residents decrease the amount of solid waste sent to landfills and reduce the number of days trash bins are set out on township roads.

Looking back at 2016, Kelley said, “At the time the discussion centered on reducing damage to the township’s local roads due to the number of heavy trucks that drive them daily, trash and recycling bins on the side of the road most days of the week, and traffic safety.”

Well, the process has progressed since then with the township soliciting request for proposals and bids from responsible and established bidders known to be experienced and regularly engaged in the work of solid waste collection and recycling services.

Bidders were required to provide satisfactory evidence that they possess the necessary capital, equipment, personnel, and experience to do the work, Kelley said.

Kelley said four qualified responses were received at the end of March 2018 from the six firms that expressed an interest in bidding.

He said due to the size of the township’s contract two bidders chose not to bid. He said over 1,000 pages in total were submitted. Kelley said he then asked two elected officials and three township residents to independently review the responses and score them.

This led the township to enter into contract negotiations with GFL Environmental. The township is also reviewing new trash and recycling ordinances for adoption and implementation.

Kelley said there are some details residents should keep in mind, they include:

The vendor will pick up yard waste, probably from April until as late as November, to be determined by the township. Pricing will be competitive. The township will bill you separately for this service; this will not be added to your tax bill. New bins will be distributed, including a 95-gallon trash bin and 65-gallon recyclables bin on wheels, both with covers. This will not result in an increase in one’s taxes.

 “If you are under contract with a waste hauler, you will not be required to participate in the township program until the end of your current contract term, up to no more than one year,” Kelley said.

This will be a mandatory program for residential properties, including homeowners associations.

Scio residents can expect more to come with this in the coming months, including public forums as well as the township going into neighborhoods to talk to HOAs and homeowners. There will also be mailings sent out.

Kelley said the township believes once they get into this the community will be pleased because if they have any issues they can contact the township hall.

“When we get into this, we are the ones you will call,” he said and added educating the public will be important with such things as what can be recycled and how the service will roll out.

The township is aiming to present the drafted ordinance at a meeting this month.

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