More trash talk

Christina Anthony

Residents were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the proposed city-wide trash collection plan during last night’s City Council work session.

The session began with a presentation from service director Gene Roberts about the economic values of regulated trash collection citing reduced cost for both the residents and street repair.

Health Commissioner, John Ferlito, continued the meeting by showing photographs of piled trash from the previous year. He said he dealt with more than 250 trash complaints in 2008.

“How is this (proposed plan) going to change the complaints?” Pat Andrews of Mantua Street interjected.

“If I can control the trash then I can preempt the problems,” Ferlito answered. “If everyone has their own trash service, I have to go around to all the different companies to decide who is responsible for a complaint.”

Under the proposed ordinance, responsibility of trash service would fall on the home owners and not necessarily the tenants. Violations and complaints could also be a criminal offense.

While the city-wide regulation of trash seemed like a poor idea to several residents, council chambers did host some residents who believed in the idea.

Walt Adams of High Street looked at the issue historically and said that when trash pick-up was first mandated in the 1970s it was also opposed.

“There will be controversy here too,” he said. “In the end, I think it’s a better choice for the environment.”

On the opposing side, residents brought up employment. Roberts mentioned there were eight trash hauling companies registered with the Health Department to collect trash in Kent.

“The little people will be out of business,” Andrews said. “I’m concerned about those jobs when we need them most.”

Another meeting will be scheduled in three to four weeks, when the Clerk of Court, Linda Copley and Council can fit it in, said City Manager, Dave Ruller. No vote has been or will be taken on the issue until after that meeting, at least.

Contact public affairs reporter Christina Anthony at [email protected].