Source: Sherman Publications

Trash talk: Twp. considers waste hauler consolidation

May 21, 2014

By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

To some residents, Orion Township’s subdivisions have been a cluster of speeding garbage trucks.

With six garbage haulers and one dedicated recycling service, up to 18 trucks can be cycling through Orion Township neighborhoods per week collecting garbage, recycling and yard waste.

For more than a year Supervisor Chris Barnett has surveyed residents whether they would be interested in consolidating garbage services down to one township hauler.

So far, only a few people have put up a stink.

“I literally have a stack of emails that ask how soon, how close are you getting?,” Barnett said.

So he brought it up to the board at the Monday night meeting.

Six of the seven trustees approved Supervisor Chris Barnett’s request to authorize a committee to form a bid for proposals for waste hauler consolidation. Trustee Neal Porter dissented.

The committee will be composed of Barnett, Township Attorney Dan Kelly and trustee Mike Flood who also is the liaison for the township environmental resources committee.

The township’s environmental resource committee voted unanimously on May 5 in favor of single haul waste consolidation.

If the township mandated a single hauler, Barnett recommends residents to pay it through a township-wide Special Assessment District, which would more than likely benefit residents with around a 15 percent savings Barnett said.

“We would go through a very transparent request for proposals process open to anybody,” he said. “There are definitely concerns but they could be addressed through the request for bids. We can write these contracts as specific as we want.”

Several local communities use a single hauler. The Village of Lake Orion does as well as Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, Shelby, Bloomfield and Commerce townships.

Rochester Hills has increased their recycling more than 86 percent since it began its single hauler system five years ago.

In a Facebook post on The Review’s homepage stating, “Hey Orion Township, who is your garbage service, what are their rates, and would you be in favor of the township moving to a single-hauler deal?” Twenty three people ‘liked’ the post and 66 people commented in one evening.

Overwhelmingly residents praised Odd Jobs, whether it was supporting the local business or favoring one of the best deals in town.

“Only if it’s odd job at $51/3 months. Great people and great family,” one poster commented.

“I would take Odd Job any day over all the others. I would be in favor of one waste hauler - every day of the week there is a different truck cutting through to skip downtown. I pay around $50 every three months and I think that is about fair.

They definitely do NOT know what a speed limit is.....all of them,” another resident posted.

Some comments were not in favor of the township making the determination.

“What business does the township have in telling us what service we can use? Let the marketplace decide who is the best. Stay out of that decision,” a resident said.

“Odd Jobs is the best and I don’t want the township telling me who I have to have. Then it will add to my taxes and if they don’t show up I have no power telling them or not paying them for not showing. Then we have to worry about who is kicking money back and to who in the township,” another person commented.

The board addressed similar concerns at the meeting.

“My number one thing would be if we are going to do this I want it in the contract how to comply with our noise ordinance. Five a.m. is way too early,” Trustee John Steimel said.

“That’s how we can write the bid for proposal, however we want,” Barnett said. “If the company misses pick up and doesn’t pick up in 24 hours they can pay residents $100. There are protections like that we can build right into the proposal process.”

A couple residents of Rochester Hills also commented.

“We live in Rochester Hills and we too did not want someone telling us who to use for our hauler. However, we are very happy now with the service. Our rates dropped and we have great service and not someone down here every day. We are with Allied Waste. We pay 51.34 every three months.”