Wayland city officials insist trash talking issue is history

Just like a lady in the audience said Trash talk end?Monday night to the Wayland City Council, “I just want to know we’re done talking trash.”

Apparently it’s true.

Though about two dozens citizens appeared before the council to oppose imposing a single trash hauler for the city, council members assured them that it looks like the idea of the city contracting with just one waste disposal company is dead.

Councilwoman Jennifer Antel said, “We haven’t discussed this issue since the fall… I don’t see a need to go any further with this.”

Antel and her colleagues last fall indeed had led an effort to have the single trash hauler idea put to a vote of the people in a special election May 5, but the city’s attorneys said only the City Council has the power to make the call. So the idea of having a vote May 5 was withdrawn and city officials insist they haven’t made any plans since.

The only way now that Wayland residents would have just one trash pickup service would be as a result of a citizens’ petition drive to put the matter before voters in November 2015 or perhaps next year.

Somehow, local citizens were encouraged to show up Monday night and voice their concerns and defend the current system with perhaps as many as a half dozen trash haulers doing business in the city.

Councilwoman Tracy Bivins said, “Most people who have talked to me have been against (the single trash hauler idea).”

Councilman Ron Kobish said, “It’s not right for the seven of us to make the decision for the whole city.”

His thoughts were echoed by Councilwoman Lisa Banas, who commented that even though the council has the power, “We don’t feel comfortable making that decision on behalf of all of our citizens.”

Councilman Tim Rose said he’s heard an equal number people oppose it and support it, but “Most people don’t seem to care.”

A representative from the Everkept Company, one of the trash haulers, said he appreciated his customers having the freedom of choice to choose their trash collector.

Alicia Thorpe, proprietor of the Freda’s Fish Fry restaurant downtown, told the council, “I thank you for supporting us in our freedom to decide. It means a lot to me that you’re not going to take away my freedom of choice.”

City Manager Mike Selden said the only issues that might remain are what days trash can be picked up. The half dozen companies are picking up trash on four different days each week and he said he’s worried about the wear and tear on local streets.

But citizen Denny Hume said, “If you limit trash pickup to just one day, there will be bigger trucks and they might tear up the roads even more.”

Despite fears to the contrary, city officials want to assure the trash talking is over. They opened up the can of worms last summer as a possibility of saving money and on repairs of streets.

PHOTO: About a dozen people attended the Wayland City Council meeting Monday evening to seek assurances talk of a single trash service for the city is over.

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