By Amanda Ensinger
A township is struggling with trash issues despite recently introducing a new resolution changing how trash is collected. At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board discussed the ongoing trash issues.
“What is the status of sending out postcards to residents regarding the trash resolution,” asked Prairie Township Trustee Cathy Schmelzer.
The township approved a new resolution changing the way trash is collected and the resolution went into effect on March 1, 2021.
The resolution includes more regulations, including requiring trash haulers to be licensed with the township, show proof of current and valid general comprehensive liability/vehicle insurance policy, and be registered and in compliance at all times with the requirements of the Franklin County Board of Health. The license is $150 per hauler and is valid until Dec. 31, 2021.
“There will only be trash on a street one day a week and trash must be in a proper container,” said Rob Peters, township administrator at a previous meeting. “A container must have a lid on it and if you already have a container like this, you don’t need to purchase a new one.”
Peters said residents would still be able to pick their haulers as long as the hauler they select is licensed with the township.
Trash is picked up on the eastside of the township on Mondays, the central part of the township on Tuesdays and the western part of the township on Wednesdays.
Peters said one reason for the changes was because there has been an increasing rodent problem in the township.
“We are having a rat issue with the trash on the streets almost every day of the week,” Peters said. “Having trash frequently out is a food source for them. Not having trash out four days a week will help solve this problem.”
He also said having trash just in bags on the street for pickup is an issue.
“When trash is not in a container with a lid, it is easily accessible to rodents and racoons,” he said. “Having it in proper containers will eliminate this issue, as well as help keep the township clean because trash bags won’t be opened, and trash won’t be spilled everywhere by these animals.”
However, according to township leaders and residents, the rodent problem persists and people are not following the new rules.
“The prosecutor’s office is still working out how this resolution will be enforced and is meeting with the township to discuss it,” Peters said.
While some of the trustees want to send postcards to residents reminding them of the new resolution, trustee Steve Kennedy opposes this and only wants a notice of the trash resolution in the newsletter and on the website.
Schmelzer wants to post a notice in the newsletter, on the website, and send out postcards to residents since some don’t have access to the Internet. Trustee Doug Stormont wants to have more information on the fine process prior to deciding.
The objective by all the trustees is to raise awareness with residents about the new trash collection rules.