By Lonnie Huhman,
If the public hearing is any indication of the community’s view of Scio Township’s proposal to put in place a new trash/recycle plan then the opinion is not exactly an excited one.
The Scio Township Board held a public hearing on July 9 to take citizen input on the proposal to implement a single hauler solid waste plan. The board did not vote on the proposal.
Township supervisor Jack Knowles said the hearing was held to take comments and hear objections to the proposed amendments to the township ordinance on solid waste.
The proposed amendments state under mandatory participation, “except as authorized in this ordinance or by Board resolution, the owners of all occupied Service Units must pay for Residential Collection,”
Knowles said the township’s specifics on the plan having an opt-out is being worked on and will be outlined in a resolution the township board will most likely vote on in the next month or so.
Next steps will have the amended ordinance presented through two readings over the next month or two at the upcoming board meetings.
Before the hearing began, board trustee Irwin Martin gave some comments to clear up some misunderstandings.
Here is a little of what he said:
He said the reasons the township is interested in creating its own system is to reduce negative impacts on roads from all of the garbage truck traffic; promote efficiencies for these services; promote the highest standards of service, experience and reliability at a competitive rate; educate residents in trash diversion, waste reduction and recycling practices; assist residents in decreasing the amount of solid waste sent to landfills and reducing the number of collection days within the township.
He said by contracting with a single hauler, economies of scale can be utilized and some residents could see a monthly decrease in fees. He also said the township will not be making any money by contracting with a single hauler.
Various township residents voiced their questions and concerns.
Two common concerns expressed are that the proposal is a mandate and there’s a lack of options that could impact quality of service.
Township resident Anthony Daniels suggested the township at least give residents two options for the service.
It was clear from the hearing that many people have different trash/recycle service needs, and are doing things currently the way that makes sense to them. At least a few people said they don’t need a service while some said they have a service for a small group of them.
Some during the hearing said it would take them a long time to fill the new bins that will be provided while some said they do not need a weekly service while some asked that the opt-out option address the different situations.
Resident Dean Solden said it is obvious that people have different needs, as individuals and groups, so it may be a better solution to get more creative rather than have a one size fits all solution.
One resident said he was for the proposal because he thinks it will help the greater good.
In the board’s discussion of the hearing, it was agreed that another work session was need so the board members could further discuss the proposal. Board member David Read said they had a lot to think about.
Board member Kathy Knol said she is opposed to the mandatory nature of the proposal, but she thinks the goals it aims to achieve are good. She said maybe they should just have an exclusive hauler, but not make it mandatory. She also said the township needs to be better about communicating and messaging.
The township service will not start at the beginning of next month, as originally planned. However, the township has developed a “soft landing” program with hauler GFL for those who have canceled their current service in anticipation of the August start date. This program will allow a resident to receive service starting next month.
Questions should be directed to the township at 734-369-9400.