Months of discussion about Liberty Township switching to a single trash hauler might be resolved when the trustees meet on May 18.

Months of discussion about Liberty Township switching to a single trash hauler might be resolved when the trustees meet on May 18.

Trustee chairman Robert Mann said trustees will consider a resolution on the plan at that meeting.

Currently, township residents hire their own trash haulers. Township officials have said about five different companies serve the unincorporated township area. Powell contracts with a single hauler.

Last October, Liberty trustees formed a committee of residents to compare the benefits of contracting with a single trash hauler.

The committee recommended the township make the switch, saying a single hauler would provide more services to residents for less cost.

Trustee Peggy Guzzo last week said, "There are a significant number of residents who want to recycle but don't want to pay the extra cost. This exercise is about whether we as a government can use our collective bargaining power."

Trustee Curt Sybert said he would oppose a single hauler.

"There is another vocal group that wants to pick their own hauler," he said.

Mann, who has not yet stated a position, said individual homeowners associations might be able to broker a deal with a single trash hauler.

"I would encourage the waste haulers to go ahead and make proposals to homeowners associations or groups of them and quote some prices for recycling and curbside trash removal," he said.

For a number of months, trustees have heard from residents on both sides of the issue.

Residents who oppose the plan have told trustees contracting with a single hauler would:

Create too much government control over an issue residents prefer to handle themselves.

Be an effort to fix something that isn't broken.

Have the potential to force small companies out of business because only larger companies would be able to handle the whole area or the necessary cost of bonding.

Make the relationship between the contractor and the resident less personal, potentially making the company less responsive to residents' needs.

Create a monopoly by eliminating competition, which could result in poorer service.

Not provide enough of a discount.

Proponents say contracting with a single hauler could:

Reduce rates.

Encourage recycling and make it more convenient.

Include removal of large items and yard waste in the monthly rate, as opposed to an additional rate for the services.

Decrease traffic. A single hauler would collect one day a week. Under the current system, trash trucks are on township roads several days a week.

Potentially provide revenue to the township if a franchise fee is required.

If a single hauler is approved, the company would bill residents directly.

Orange Township also uses a single garbage hauler.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com