The city of Jackson, MI recently approved a new plan that places one trash hauler in charge of collecting and disposing of residential waste. The new system gives the city council the authority to open up contact bidding for the city’s waste removal needs. Competing waste haulers can bid on the city’s hauling contract, and whoever can produce the best terms wins the approval of the city council.
However, the new system has hardly been without controversy. Many residents are upset over the personal affect the single waste hauler system will have on local business owners. Prior to the adoption of the new system, residents had several choices of waste management companies, many of them locally owned and operated. Residents were also given the freedom to opt out of curbside pickup services, letting them dispose of their own trash. But under the new system, it is certain that these local haulers will be crowded out of the market by larger trash disposal companies. The system also makes curbside pickup compulsory for all residents living in single-family homes and rental properties.
Despite the public outcry over the new system, the city council is pressing ahead with its selection of a single trash hauler to service the entire city. The council members who voted in favor the measure believe that the new system will save the city money. Since competing companies must beat each other on price and services, the bidding process tends to settle on terms that come down in favor of the city. Yet even with all of the money saved by sticking to a single hauler, many residents will continue to feel as though they have lost a diverse and vibrant part of their local economy.