Trash pickup plan under fire

Local haulers, residents not on board with city’s strategy to consolidate
Andy Ouriel
Jan 15, 2014
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

 

Comments

mikesee

Something that I have not seen addressed is the damage to the infrastructure. Going to a one hauler system means one truck per week on the roads instead of maybe four or five different trucks on the roads during the week. I believe that most of these trucks are cloase to being overweight when they are less than half full.

Just something to consider.

Darkhorse

This is all about filling up the landfill always has and always will be. The county spent way too much on the expansion of the landfill and it is now looking to fill it up. Whenever the County does something, you can bet it is to their advantage.

JD's picture
JD

this is about the Ohio EPA placing mandates on all the citys. According to the Ohio EPA everybody within the county must have recycling available. The city is saying thay are spending too much money for the bins that everybody puts trash in. The city must act to keep in compliance with the Ohio EPA. The county is doing this and offering this city an opportunity or so they say.

rbenn

Operating a landfill is very expensive, engineering, closure, post closer costs are in the millions. Most have no idea what it takes to keep one running in the black. Ive managed landfills for some time now, and I will tell you most county landfills are selling out all over the country. For instance just to purchase a trash compactor could exceed $1million. Tipping rates have to go up to keep up with the operational costs. If managed properly money can be made, but unfortunately many are not costing residents lots of money. The facility I manage now just did an expansion at a capitol cost of 5.2 million. That being said the only way to keep costs down is privatization of waste services. With the rising costs and regulations the increases will keep going up.If you have a good manager that can get optimum usage of airspace through good compaction methods the life of the landfill increases and profits go up hence costs dont increase, it all goes hand in hand.

JD's picture
JD

I dont doubt this but this is about the ohio epa is mandating that the local government make recycling is available to all residents. If you did not go to the city meeting I would suggest that you all watch it. It will be clear as to why this is being discussed.

rbenn

Most recycling programs are a farce mostly gov kickbacks and such, you would be surprised how much stuff you think is being recycled actually gets put in landfills.

The Bizness

I am all for this.

kritter080

answer me this, by having one pick up provider, how would a monopoly save us money in the long run, thing about it.

The Bizness

Because their contract is renewed every couple of years so bids are taken. Lowest bidder wins.

I know that my parents bill in Vermilion (who has a single hauler) is cheaper than mine in Sandusky, for comparable service.

Nemesis

Except when the contract is up for renewal, there's no one else to bid, because one doesn't just conjure a fully functional trach hauling business out of thin air. To be in a position to bid, one must currently be operating such a business locally, and profitably enough to capitalize the necessary expansion.

Your parents are what is known as an anecdote.

But then again, you regularly ignore those realities of capitalism when you claim your judgement should be substituted for that of those who have demonstrated their expertise.

kritter080

yeah ok, your talking about sandusky here, not beautiful quiet vermilion. the good ol'boys system runs deep and strong here, if you haven't noticed, and it is bring this community down with every decision they are making, it is all about them and not the people, soon enough we will be left to defend for our self.

tk

We just dropped Republic because everytime we got a bill they had increased the rate. We went with Cyclone for $30.00 a quarter lower rate. With only one hauler you would not have that option. There are certainly more pressing issues in the county to worry about.

queenjhb

some haulers will lower your rate ,if you call on the phone and say you are going with Cyclone if they don't offer you a better rate. Worked for me.

tk

They did offer to lower my rate but they didn't say how much. I doubt they would have met cyclones rate. If they did, then they had been overcharging me for quite some time. It's definitely easier to deal with a smaller local hauler then with a large company like Republic. We started with them as BFI which was pretty good but then they sold out to Allied Waste and then Allied became Republic and every change brought an increase. Each billing cycle they would tack on a couple more dollars. The last time it was 6 dollars more. That's when I decided enough was enough. I started out with them at $37.00 and quit when it went to $86.

gene44870

Thats one nice thing about me living in Ky , Down here the city hauls the trash and the best part of all Is I live in a city that would make Sandusky look like a twon size of Bay View .
And this is payed for through the water bills , And no the water bills are no highrer then they are there and the best part is that the water bills are cheaper here then in Sandusky .
Maybe Sandusky needs to think about this

JD's picture
JD

make no mistake your paying for it you are not getting anything for free.

ohioengineer

This is more of the same: more government control and less private enterprise. Only a government official could make the statement with a straight face that a monopoly can provide better service at less cost. (Need an example: how about the US Postal Service.) I used to live in a city with a monopoly trash service and it was a joke. On pick-up day my neighbors and I would compare to see who had the most trash left at the end of their driveway - so much for better service. And don't think about complaining - after all, what are you going to do, change to a different service?

doppleganger

Exactly. Take cable television as an example. If you don't want dish tv you might as well just bend over and wait for your next increase in your bill.

samiam

If this goes thru, and I hope it doesn't, will the billing be handled by the hauler or the county? The county should not be doing work for a private business.

What if I don't want to participate and choose to haul my trash to the landfill myself? What if two neighbors choose to share one pickup if neither generates a lot of trash? How are they going to bill this?

This is NOT a function of any government.

hilltop

The County crys about the cost of removing trash - hey it's a service to the people you serve - get over it. It's not our fault that the dump is a listed site under Superfund and you have to keep it running to pay for the testing. If you got rid of Jack Myers your costs could easily be cut in half in "Environmental Services."

Make the motels in Milan Township tie-in to the billion-dollar sewer line that was run to the turnpike - then that project could pay for itself.

Competition keeps costs down - it's a simple fact of capitalism. Remove competition and costs will rise. We've already lost Canfield-Hartley to FSI, what do you want one big BFI?

What's happening to the cash rolling in from the casinos - I understand there's millions there? Maybe some of that cash could help serve the community.

my oh my

FSI picks trash up in Erie County and in turn dumps it in Sandusky County Landfill. How is this fair????

bozerdozer

fsi dumps erie county trash at erie county landfill.. dumps sandusky county trash at sandusky county landfill after they get all the recycles out of it.

JD's picture
JD

Boy oh bor there are alot of experts out here such a wealth of knowledge

bozerdozer

I don't know where people get their information from. every trash company does an awesome job. They work hard. Even some of the owners of trash company's work hard. Same thing with School Janitors they work hard so the classrooms are disinfected so our kids don't get sick from the spread of germs. The list goes on.. A lot of people take pride in their work.