Nelsonville To Propose Mandatory Trash, Recycling Collection

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Nelsonville City Council will introduce legislation on Monday that would require all city residents to have curbside trash and recycling collection from one trash hauler through a franchise agreement.

According to Nelsonville Code Enforcement Director Steve Pierson, the city currently does not have a law on the books requiring citizens to have trash collection service. Currently, the law in the city states that trash must be removed by the owner of a property every seven days.

Not requiring trash collection has led to some residents hoarding trash, creating a health hazard in some cases, Pierson said.

Pierson said the proposal would be for a “pay as you throw” service, meaning that residents would be charged more if they exceed one can full of trash. The city of Athens has the same kind of system in order to encourage residents to reduce trash that goes to a landfill by recycling. According to Pierson, residents who have trash service now pay the same price no matter how much they throw away. He said this means that a person who throws away one bag of trash is subsidizing someone who throws away 10 bags of trash per week.

The proposal would call for unlimited single-stream recycling, which means sorting the recyclables would be the responsibility of the hauler — not the resident.

One hauler would be selected by the city to provide both trash and recycling collection. Pierson said the city wouldn’t know how much collection would cost until bids are received from haulers. He said it would be the responsibility of the hauler who was granted the franchise agreement to bill customers, meaning that trash and recycling collection would not be added to residents’ utility bills.

Pierson said requiring curbside recycling would help the Athens-Hocking Solid Waste District’s recycling numbers, which are mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.