Local haulers and city residents on Monday lashed out against an Erie County-spurred plan calling for only one hauling company to pick up trash, recyclables and other materials in Sandusky.
The verbal backlash, voiced during a public meeting, stems from people worried about losing their trash provider and jobs.
Want to go?
WHAT: Discussion about the proposed one-hauler system
WHERE: 2900 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
WHEN: 3 p.m. Thursday
WHO: Any member from the public can attend.
In November, county officials solicited prices from companies interested in collecting curbside recycling along with trash and yard waste for various political subdivisions, including Sandusky.
Under the proposal, one hauler would pick up these materials in residential areas fully situated in Erie County.
Officials contend a one-hauler system could provide more opportunities for recycling and decrease garbage collection prices. Trash removal, at an average of $66 per quarter today, could decrease to $35 per quarter, according to officials.
“We are just trying to find a way to make it work and provide more services,” said Lisa Beursken, Erie County’s solid waste district coordinator. “Right now, we are on a fact-finding mission”
Some city commissioners voiced concerns about the proposal immediately after Beursken informed them about it.
Commissioner Wes Poole seemed hesitant to approve a plan, claiming a one-hauler system would create a monopoly on trash and other refuse services.
“I’m not real comfortable putting any small haulers out of business that operates in Sandusky” commissioner Wes Poole said. “You will have to climb a big hill for to convince me this is a good thing”
Other than Beursken, nobody spoke in favor of the program during Monday’s meeting.
Here’s what others said of the plan:
“The county didn’t come to Sandusky to try to figure this out prior to throwing this bid out. Now everyone has to respond to this bid or you might get left out. I have no problem bidding against other haulers. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But we should have had this discussion before this bid came out”
— Dave Vossmer, Republic Services general manager. Republic Services was previously called Allied Waste and BFI
“I’m totally against one hauler. I think it’s totally unfair for the smaller guy. We are the small guy. I think it’s just totally unreasonable for you guys to have one person come in and bid on this city. It would be a total monopoly, which wouldn’t be fair”
— Bernard Hamilton, Ruffin Refuse representative
“You are going to lose jobs. The quality of service and competition will suffer. I can’t think of a single industry where there is a monopoly with good quality of service. There could be 50 to 100 jobs at stake, and we need to consider that”
— Herman Robinson, city resident
“I’m all for bidding out a particular city or village. But if you bid out the county, in my belief, you would shut out all the rest of the haulers from having another chance from coming back to bid. I don’t have a problem with competition, but when you open that door and bid out the entire county, you take out competition”
— Duke Fultz, FSI Disposal president
“If we go to one hauler, which I don’t like the idea, it doesn’t allow for competition. What if we get bad service from this one hauler?”
— Sharon Johnson, city resident