Writer disagrees with support for refuse districts
As always a great paper, and great articles. We finally disagree on one editorial.
Residential Refuse District, Bad idea:
1. You said “will save residents and township taxpayers money”, maybe.
2. “safety on rural road”, I don’t think so,
3. “win for everybody except Waste Management” only winner is whoever gets the contract,
4. “reducing wear and tear on our roads”, TRUE,
5. most residents subscribe with Waste Management, that is their choice,
6. “service will be as good or better since you’ll have the clout of the entire township behind you on complaints.” NOT EVEN CLOSE!
I do not live in Union Township, so this is not going to affect me. However, let me give you some insight into this issue. When I lived in Franklin County, we lived outside of Columbus. We subscribed to a private hauler. When we had a problem we just changed companies, very simple. One of the townships trustee used to live next door, our kids grew up together so I knew him. They (Trustees) decided to go to a Residential Refuse District and they had the same reason as you did. With much protest they did what they pleased. It sounded good to me, cheaper. But it did not take long for reality to set in.
Problem 1. You will pay less upfront, but what will they pick up? (appliances, carpet, tree branches, furniture, and number of items). The one we had, had a number of items they would pick up and after that they would leave the rest. Christmas was always a nightmare. Sometimes it took a month or so to get rid of the boxes, then find some place to get rid of the other stuff. Tree branches were required a certain length and had to be tied.
Problem 2. Never heard of a problem on this (rural road safety).
Problem 3. Win for everybody, I don’t think so, The winner is whoever gets the contract. They are locked in and you pay if you like it or not.
Problem 4. Reduced wear and tear on township roads. Very true, this is the only good part of this whole idea.
Problem 5. Most residents subscribe with Waste Management: that is their choice, you know the American thing. Like I said you don’t like your service go somewhere else. I think there are about five haulers in my area.
Problem 6. Service will be as good ….clout of the entire township behind you on complaints. Unless you have some outstanding trustees this will not happen. The only real power you have is to change companies, it is called competition. Like problem 3, the winner is the hauler. You have a complaint; they do not have to talk to you. They will tell you to see your trustee; he will be the middle man and nothing will happen.
Bottom line you pay less, you will get less, that is how it worked out for us.
I hope it will work out better for you. If you go that route, the way the contract is written is how it will come out.
Editor’s Note: I agree with Chuck that the contract is the key element. Many of the problems he outlines can be covered in a well written and thought out contract. It looks like (see Page 2) that we will have an opportunity to see if Union Township Trustees are up to the task. I hope so.