City's trash hauler can share the wealth NORTHWEST -- Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor * Uniontown

September 29, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

TANEYTOWN -- It's a dirty job, and Haden Trash Removal has contracted to do it. But according to the city's arrangement, Haden isn't necessarily the only hauler for the job.

There is no clause in the contract between the city and Haden Trash Removal Inc., which picks up the town's garbage on Thursdays, to prevent residents who are dissatisfied with the current one-day service from paying other haulers to make the trip twice a week.

So some residents are doing just that, which has the city fathers confused and a little upset.

"I can't find anything in the agreement with them that prohibits other haulers from coming in and picking up [trash]," said City Manager Joseph Mangini. "But I think people would be silly and foolish if they would want to pay a hauler to do what the city is doing for free."

The managers of Taneytown Apartments, at East Baltimore and York streets, said the city's service is not acceptable.

They began using Hughes Trash Removal when the complex opened in July 1991 and continued to use it after the citywide trash service went into effect last July.

"This isn't free pickup. The taxpayers pay for it eventually," said one of the managers, who would not give his name.

"I wasn't going to go with Haden anyway, because the one-day service doesn't work."

Mr. Mangini said the $124,000 city trash-pickup bill is paid for with surplus money in the town budget, and residents are not billed for the service directly in their taxes.

"There are not a lot of towns in the state that have enough money to provide such an extensive service without even raising the tax rate," he said.

Mr. Mangini said he is not concerned about people using outside haulers, but said he knows how to deal with the situation if it does become a problem.

"If [the outside contracting] got to be widespread, I'd recommend to the council that we fine people if they have trash cans out on days other than our pickup day," he said.

The City Council discovered at its monthly meeting that other trash companies could do business here while it was considering an amendment to the refuse ordinance that would allow residents to use any type of garbage container under 60 gallons.

Council members recalled a previous meeting at which two Fairgrounds Village women said they were concerned about the amount of trash that accumulates from one Thursday to another.

The women said they contacted a hauler about picking up trash on a second day, but were told it was probably prohibited by Haden's contract.

Mr. Mangini said haulers wouldn't come for individual pickups because they waste money.

"It is simply not cost-effective for them to come out here and pick up one or two people's trash," Mr. Mangini said. "If it were more than that, then maybe a hauler would think it is worth it."

He said it is probably worthwhile for Hughes Trash Removal to pick up trash from the 17 apartments currently rented on East Baltimore Street on Mondays and Thursdays.

Despite early complaints about the change in the trash pickup schedule from two- to one-day service, most residents are using the Haden service rather than contracting with others, Mr. Mangini said.

"We have contracted with Haden to pick up trash for 1,400 units, and if we fall below that we still have to pay for that much," Mr. Mangini said. "But it is negotiated monthly, so we have a chance to discuss changes."

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