A Waterford Township trustee probably realized he would raise a stink by prompting a dialogue on potential changes in the township’s approach to waste collection, and deserves some credit for pushing the issue anyway. We look forward to seeing a detailed plan and suggest the township put it before voters next year as an advisory ballot question.
Trustee David Kramer had planned to broach trash collection issues at a Monday, Nov. 14 township board meeting, but asked to remove the discussion from the agenda at the last minute, stating more research is needed.
Kramer would like to consider alternatives to the present scenario in the township, under which each individual resident and business is left to secure their own trash collection service. There’s been little to no talk of changes since the traditional single-hauler concept was soundly rejected in 1998, when two-thirds of the township’s electorate voted against that approach.
Kramer notes a preponderance of waste collectors operating in any given neighborhood, which is a danger for pedestrians, children and pets. He believes having multiple haulers operating nearly every day adds excessive wear and tear on roadways. There’s also a concern about garbage on the sides of township roads every weekday.
Kramer has mulled establishing standards, by ordinance, for waste collectors. He also envisions carving up the township into waste collection districts and soliciting bids from haulers to serve those districts. While there would be multiple operators serving the township, only one would serve each district in order to reduce truck traffic, blight, safety hazards and road deterioration.
We have no doubt that all the benefits envisioned by Kramer would come to fruition with changes to the current system. However, the 1998 vote on the single-hauler approach indicated many Waterford residents want to choose their own waste hauler. We have never understood that, since contracting with one hauler to serve the whole community would standardize and maximize service, and produce a cost savings.
Yet, the people have spoken — at least they did over a decade ago. As such, we’d like to see Kramer continue researching potential alternatives to the status quo with an eye toward placing an advisory question on one of the township’s 2012 ballots. It’s possible that the public view on the current trash collection free-for-all has changed — then again, maybe it hasn’t. The only way to know for sure is to ask voters at the 2012 primary or general election polls.
In the meantime, we encourage Kramer to keep up his research and work on developing potential alternatives for the entire community to weigh and debate.