By Amanda Ensinger
Entering into a trash and recycling consortium consumed a large portion of a recent Franklin Township Trustees meeting.
Franklin Township Administrator Steve Mazer provided an update to residents.
“Board members had requested that I look into this and I had a meeting with the attorney representing SWACO regarding the consortium,” Mazer said. “It seems that the township was a member of the consortium as late as 2019, but since that time, the township has not been a member.”
Mazer said the consortium has evolved to having one contract with one company, which is Local Waste Services. Mazer also added that since leaving the consortium, residents have seen their monthly rates increase.
“What I was told was the township has an option to rejoin the consortium, but that the contractor would be Local Waste Services,” Mazer said. “However, there are also a number of stipulations that the township would have to fulfill before they would consider allowing us to enter back into the consortium.”
One stipulation: Local Waste Services wants the township to make them whole if the customers refuse to pay.
“This is kind of alarming to me,” Mazer said. “When the township was last in the consortium, there were 2,800 households and 700 were either delinquent or just refused to pay the bills.”
Another stipulation said the township would have to agree that Local Waste can stop service to delinquent accounts. Meaning, if an account hasn’t paid in 90 days, Local Waste Services will stop service on that account.
The third stipulation is that all residents have to join the consortium and agree to use Local Waste Service as the trash and recycling provider. They cannot opt out of service.
“The price would be $19.99 a month and customers would be billed quarterly,” Mazer said. “They also offer a senior citizens discount.”
Mazer reported that Local Waste Services did suggest putting a lien on resident’s properties if they don’t pay their bill so the township can get their money back. They added that Jackson Township currently does that.
“I do not want to be responsible for delinquent bills,” said James Leezer, township trustee. “I don’t think it is a good use of resident’s money to spend their money to pay for someone’s trash.”
The township agreed to send a letter to residents letting them know that currently they are not under contract with any trash hauler and they can pick any trash hauler they would like. The board also agreed for right now not to join the consortium under these current stipulations.
If the township had agreed to join, they would have joined communities like Village of Brice, Clinton, Pleasant, Sharon and Truro townships and would have had set pricing on trash, recycling and yard waste collection from Local Waste.