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Published: Wednesday, 10/20/2004

Sylvania Township: Refuse hauling contract stalled

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Plans for a Sylvania Township-wide refuse hauling contract have stalled and likely will have to wait until next year before such an agreement can be reached.

Brad Peebles, township administrator, told a recent meeting of the trustees that he had received only one bid for a contract for pick-up for all township residents.

To put together a more competitive bidding situation, Mr. Peebles said he will take steps in the next few weeks to determine how more companies might be encouraged to bid on a contract for the service.

"I'm going to meet with Lucas County's division of solid waste to see what modifications they might suggest,'' to a request for proposals from private concerns,'' he said.

He said also will have discussions with private firms to determine what specifications they might hope to see.

The possibility of getting a grant for the recycling segment of a contract is possible he said, but such grants are usually only good for one year, and might be difficult to work into what is hoped would be a five-year contract.

He said one firm told him it might be interested, but hadn't had time to develop a proposal and another company said they were concerned that an agreement would not give them the exclusive right to pick up all refuse in the township.

Although the idea of one primary provider for the township has been well received by residents, some have objected to the possibility of being forced to cancel their contract with their private hauler.

Other area townships have investigated getting a contract with one company to haul waste, but have found that loss of choice to be the most significant objection from residents.

Springfield and Washington townships have looked into the possibility, but dropped it after what was perceived to be a general lack of interest, or, in some cases, objections from residents who did not want the township to dictate who would haul their refuse.

Sylvania Township trustees have insisted since beginning discussions about the possibility of a township-wide service, that being included in the program would be voluntary for residents.

The administrator has said that the amount of savings for residents would be tied to the percentage that sign up for the service.

Unlike the practice of municipal governments that provide refuse pickup as part of the budget, townships generally don't offer it, and individual homeowners contract with their own haulers.

Providing a cost savings for residents has been the primary motivation for the initiative Sylvania Township officials say, but add that there are other advantages.

Mr. Peebles said that some neighborhoods in the township have heavy garbage trucks traveling their streets three days a week.

Limiting the number of companies would reduce potential danger and the wear and tear such trucks eventually take on roadways.

Officials have also noted that it would be easier to pinpoint the source of any problems, such as litter, if their was a primary refuse collector in the township.



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