Waterford Township Trustee David Kramer was expected to broach trash collection issues at the Board of Trustees’ Monday, Nov. 14 meeting, but just prior to the meeting, asked to remove the discussion item from the agenda.
“We need to do more research before it’s brought back,” he said.
Kramer initially intended to present a preliminary proposal to address trash collection, but one that steers clear of the single-hauler concept scrapped in 1998 when two-thirds of the township’s electorate voted against that approach to waste collection.
“It’s just ideas at this point,” Kramer said. “It’s not a single-waste hauler, but creating districts within the township based on traffic patterns and density of housing populations.”
Kramer’s draft proposal asserts that there is a preponderance of waste collectors in any given neighborhood that poses a potential danger to pedestrians, children and pets. Moreover, the exhaust from the vehicles adds to the township’s collective carbon footprint, and having multiple haulers operating in the township nearly every day adds excessive wear and tear on roadways. There is also a concern over garbage on the sides of township roads each day.
“The goal is less wear and tear, traffic, carbon footprint and blight — that’s what it’s all about,” Kramer said. “No one is trying to put anyone out of business.”
Kramer’s draft proposal would create township standards, by ordinance, for waste collectors. The standards would first be discussed with board members, operators, other municipalities, and the township’s Department of Public Works.
“Districts would be created on the advice of personnel in township departments (who) travel the township a lot,” Kramer said. “There indeed would be multiple operators, but only one in each district to reduce truck traffic.”
No other operators would be allowed in another’s assigned district.
“We would discuss it with operators first to find out their thoughts,” Kramer said. “They would save money, as well, since they would not be driving as long because the districts would be condensed.”
Waterford Township would seek competitive bids for service in residential districts, meaning the township would decide what districts would get which operator, not the residents.
“What does it matter who the hauler is if all are abiding by the same standards?” Kramer asked.
Operators’ ledgers are expected to also benefit from a concentrated or captured customer base, through less wear and tear on the trucks; less employee costs resulting from more efficient collection services; the freedom to concentrate in other areas of the township or county on other days and to choose the day of operation in each district.
Residents would be expected to benefit, as well, through reduced costs, dangers, and vehicle exhaust.
All forms of waste would be collected, including garbage, recyclables, and yard waste.
Some board members are opposed to discussions on trash collection given the previously expressed voter consensus.
“It’s a hot topic item and as far as I’m concerned, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” said Township Supervisor Carl Solden.