By Amanda Ensinger
Residents in Prairie Township said they were not properly informed about a new trash collection policy. The issue was brought up at a recent board meeting.
The trustees approved a resolution changing the way trash is collected in the township. That legislation went into effect on March 1.
The resolution put more regulations on how trash is collected in the township, 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 with 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 the time. “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 own haulers as long as the hauler they select is licensed with the township.
Trash is picked up on the eastside of the township on Monday, the central part of the township on Tuesday and the western part of the township on Wednesday.
Peters previously said the reason for these changes is because there has been a 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.”
Prairie Township trustee Cathy Schmelzer had asked the board why postcards could not be sent out to residents informing them of the new resolution. Trustee Steve Kennedy opposed this plan and trustee Doug Stormont wanted to have more information on the fine process prior to deciding on the postcards.
“We put it on the website, Facebook and in our newsletter,” said Peters. “Each company also notified their customers.”
Schmelzer said she thought more could have been done to inform residents of the policy change.
“I wanted a couple of notices to go out to our residents to let them know what was going on with the trash,” she said. “I was not allowed to do it. I would be frustrated too if someone didn’t tell me.”