Jessica Mathews /

A ballot proposal to consolidate residential trash collection will appear before voters in Hamburg Township in the November 8th General Election.

The proposal aims to gauge the level of support for the township to contract with a single hauler that would provide weekly trash pick-up and recycling; along with yard waste and bulk item pick-up.

Multiple companies currently provide service on various days and times, which results in a number of different trucks serving homes on the same street. The township has also made significant investments in roads.

Supervisor Pat Hohl says next year will mark the 8th year that the township has had funding through a locally authorized road millage. He says the township has invested in excess of $6.8 (m) million since the millage started. Since many of the primary roads have got new black-top, he says this year the board directed attention to gravel road upgrades and the Livingston County Road Commission has really collaborated.

Once they get through all of the construction, Hohl says they’ll begin a maintenance program on the repaired roads to try and ensure some longevity and make them last as long as possible.

Hohl says the ballot question is simply for residents to express their preference to the board as it considers a single hauler. He noted that several residents have come forward over the years and this is something the board has looked at a number of times.

Hohl says the driving force this time is that residents seem to be very motivated and interested in reducing the heavy garbage truck traffic on their primary county roads and subdivision roads. He stressed that whether the proposal passes or not, it is not binding and would be advisory to the board.

Hohl said it’s something the board is willing to look at but also acknowledged that it is a lot of work. If it does proceed, he says they’ll do their best to make the best selection for the township – cautioning that it won’t be perfect and there would be growing pains and hurdles to overcome during the implementation process. Further, Hohl added they want to make sure this isn’t something where government becomes the problem because they really are trying to help the residents.

The board has solicited bids from ten companies, with two received from Waste Management and Green for Life Environmental. Both are being evaluated. Hohl says they’ve had pretty extensive interviews with both and are also talking with other municipalities that utilize them.

Hohl told WHMI the nature of the market is of extreme concern to the board due to buy-outs and quality of service; as well as employee issues and supply chain problems with maintaining equipment during the pandemic. He says they’re really trying to vet everything, put together information, and avoid any issues if voters indicate they want a single hauler and it’s something the board decides to do.

Should the ballot proposal be favorable and the board moves forward, Hohl says they’ll need to develop an ordinance and finalize a contract.

A press release from the township is attached. A link to the proposals on the township website is also provided.