FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two city councilmen suggest that the city switches to private garbage collection, if the contract with Red River Waste Solutions is ended. The mayor’s office not only finds several problems with the proposal but points out the resolution could not be turned into action.
The non-binding resolution, introduced by Jason Arp and Paul Ensley is the latest argument made by councilmen against the city’s contract with Red River. It creates a discussion of “re-establishing market-based garbage collection” in the city.
After suggesting that the trash collection has not met the expectation and demands of residents, the resolution calls the current collection system a monopoly as everyone in city limits are required to use one collection contractor.
While Arp and Ensley do point out that city leaders made the deal to hire Red River as required by Indiana law, they stated freedom of choice would fix the current problems by allowing “the market forces to come to equilibrium efficiently, ensuring that residents have recourse to resolve dissatisfaction in a timely manner.”
The resolution is non-binding, meaning action can not be required based on the resolution, but in the document Arp and Ensley make several suggestions. Those include asking city administration to continue fining Red River, avoid entering any future long-term garbage collection contracts, and switch over to private collection before the end of the year when the current contract ends.
The mayor’s office sees the resolution as more politics than a fix. According to City Spokesman John Perlich, several non-binding resolutions discussed in City Council over the past weeks don’t have an ability to make an impact and can’t be enforced.
Aside from the issues with the form of the resolution, Perlich shared several points of why Arp and Ensley’s suggestions would not work.
Those include residents paying more for or not being able to afford garbage collection, an increase of public health concerns from the way trash is disposed of and extra stress put on the city’s infrastructure from having multiple companies working at the same time.
You can see the full resolution here: cityoffortwayne.org
“Our focus and commitment to residents and neighborhoods is that we’re doing everything possible to ensure the best garbage and recycling collection services possible,” Perlich said in the statement.
The city’s website tracks Red River’s performance. The latest information comes from March, 2019. It shows that there were about 1,050 calls to 311 about missed trash and recycling. The company was fined $60,400. That number was down from February, but similar to January.
You can keep track of the stats here: cityoffortwayne.org