Township talks trash

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Franklin Township Trustees discussed the idea of starting a trash consortium in the township at the Oct. 2 trustees meeting.

Tim Berlekamp, director of planning and projects at the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) presented the pros and the cons of what a consortium can do for the township.

Berlekamp explained a consortium is a group of townships or cities that band together and contract out to get not only better rates on their trash pickup, but also better service.

"An example is Jackson Township. When they used to pay around $14 per ton for garbage service and they franchised the waste-shed, they paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $8.50 per ton and then they got recycling, yard waste and garbage for the same service; so the price usually goes down, the service usually goes up," said Berlekamp.

Berlekamp said consortium agreements usually do not allow residents to opt-out of the service, but this also prevents a lot of illegal dumping townships sometimes have to deal with.

"If citizens decide not to get service, they still generate waste or refuge and that could end up in commercial Dumpsters, or it could end up in a ditch or it could end up somewhere else. So we kind of consider if everybody has the service because you’ve taken it and you’ve said ‘Here’s your service,’ then that’s a better health issue for the township," said Berlekamp.

He clarified that consortiums are not without uproars. Some residents may not take a shine to the township telling them they have to use their trash service.

Berlekamp said the process would entail the township passing a resolution for the township to "own" their own trash; then the township would bid out for trash service with a provider and either develop a three-year history with that service or team up with another county or township that has a quality record and SWACO can assist to form a consortium agreement.

"If there were other people that wanted to go into that bid and you owned your trash at that point in time, we probably could pull up. There’s nobody in a consortium down here right now," said Berlekamp.

There is also the added benefit of less wear and tear on the roads due to less hauling of trash in the township by different entities.

Trustee Tim Guyton was impressed with the idea of a consortium.

"It’s a win-win for everybody," said Guyton.

Berlekamp did say initially the township may not see the benefit of a consortium because the township will have to go it alone until either a partnership with another township can be formed or a good record for the township develops but in the long run it benefits most communities.

"We’ve gotten success out of it so far, and eight entities are in a consortium now. There’s two others that want to join it," said Berlekamp.

In other township news, the trustees discussed whether or not to delay leaf pickup since the road crew is still working on collecting all the leftover brush from the windstorm in September.

Trustee Don Cook was concerned if the brush was not picked up completely there would be issues later with leaf collection.

"We’re going to have people raking the leaves into the brush, if you don’t have that brush pick-up, you’re going to have a combination of leaves and brush," said Cook.

Guyton had concerns of unhappy residents if their leaves were not picked up in a timely manner.

"You have residents calling saying, hey I got a pile sitting out here, grass is dying, when are you going to pick them up? We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature. I mean, one cold snap happens and boom, leaves are down and we weren’t ready for it because we posted a date and that’s our start date," said Guyton.

Trustees agreed to continue brush pickup and delay leaf pickup until Nov. 10 and continue till Dec. 5, but they also are willing to make another trip for residents on Dec. 8.

"Just in case anybody rakes something out. We say stop raking on Dec. 5," said Guyton.

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