Let me thank Councilwoman Lori Ritzler and Councilman Tyler Shuff for voting in favor of free enterprise in the recent city council decision to mandate a single trash hauler for Tiffin. I hope the voters will remember to reward them if and when they run for re-election to the city council.
The rest of the council had, apparently, several of what they considered good reasons to deprive the taxpayers of a choice of refuse hauler.
Having read transcripts of regular meetings and meetings of the whole during which the topic of recycling was discussed, I found that;
1. Steve Dryfuse, former Parks and Recreation director, had been turned down for a $10,000 grant because we didn't have a recycling system in place.
2. Mayor Aaron Montz said the mayor's office and the city administrator's office had spent "countless hours on numerous complaints" but that haulers had been unresponsive. When I asked at the Aug. 4 regular meeting just what complaints they were receiving, I was told that customers were complaining about receptacles being left at the curb beyond a certain time limit. When I pointed out that had nothing to do with recycling, the council president and the mayor quickly added there had been citizen inquiries about the lack of recycling options. April 7, another statement was made by the mayor about "residents contacting (the) administration about trash toters. ..." without any mention of recycling.
3.The mayor and Tim Wasserman, director of OSS Solid Waste District, state residents "could save $300,000 annually." But that figure can only be saved if every inhabited single-family house uses the 96-gallon tote. Anyone who has driven through neighborhoods on collection day has seen the totes, but they have also seen a large percentage of residents who have opted for using the bags, which means that the total saved would be far less than reported.
4. Councilman Mark Hays, on March 7, said "the city is losing money without having a recycling program." I assume he was referring to the grant that was not granted.
5. April 7, Hays said "local haulers have had many years to initiate a recycling program and have not done it." What he failed to mention is the startup costs to haulers with extra trucks, manpower and collection-sorting facilities which would be the primary reason the local haulers haven't been able to act.
6. June 16, after conferring with Karl's Hauling, Ritzler suggested offering clear plastic bags, at cost, that residents could put recyclables in until full instead of using the colored bags being sold at approximately $1.50 each. This idea would still require a different truck and a collection-sorting site, but it is the only idea I've heard not in lock-step with the single hauler idea. Is Ritzler the only person on the council with a business-oriented imagination?
In closing, it's evident to me the only point that has any credibility at all is the loss of the grant money. Instead of infringing on my right to do business with whoever I choose, I'd rather the city just tell me about this project they want to use the grant for and, if worthy, I'll give my share from my own pocket.
Instead of letting the private sector solve this problem, which will happen when it becomes commercially feasible, the mayor, the council president and five members of the council saw fit to interfere with commerce and tell us all we don't have the intelligence to make our own decisions.