Board of Health representative Melissa McArthur said the situation on Derrer Road made the area look like a “landfill”.
The street had been overcome by trash and debris as a result of several residents not having trash service, she explained.
“Not only were the lots themselves trashed, but large piles of trash and garbage were all the way down the street,” she added.
McArthur and her supervisor, Charlie Broschart, were at the June 24 business meeting at the request of Chairman Timothy Guyton to answer resident questions concerning the township’s participation in seeking a single trash hauler. They also discussed the negative impact those without trash service have on the community.
“About 100 percent of the putrescible trash and garbage complaints that we get are due to no trash service,” said McArthur.
It causes a number of problems including odor and flies and often times rat issues, which can become very widespread, she added.
McArthur also emphasized the length of time it takes to get residents into compliance once a complaint is made.
In the instance on Derrer Road, McArthur said it took five weeks to bring five properties into compliance and had an owner not complied, it would have been forwarded to the court system, which could have tacked on an additional ten to 12 weeks to get the hearing date.
The Derrer Road case was able to be brought into compliance prior to entering the court system.
However, each case is different, said McArthur.
From beginning to end, it could take as long as five months or so to bring a property into compliance once a complaint is logged, she explained.
Even then, there is always the possibility of a rebound.
A rebound is when a property owner or tenant falls in and out of compliance.
“Trash service typically only runs three months,” she said.
“They pay for it. Once the three months is up, they won’t pay for it again. The case will rebound and we’ll have to reopen it and go through it again,” she said.
These are the types of long and drawn out battles that the Board of Health fights on a regular basis.
In 2009, Franklin Township accounted for 30 percent of the solid waste complaints logged, said Broschart.
In 2010, Franklin Township accounted for 42 percent of the solid waste complaints, nearly half of all complaints in the entire county, he explained.
Although similar statistics were presented to residents during previous meetings, residents were skeptical and curious as to how complaints are logged.
The concern being that one property could generate duplicate complaints thus creating the staggering numbers.
Calls on the same property are not duplicated, assured Broschart.
Once a complaint is logged on a property, it stays in the system until the property is brought into compliance, he said.
“The only time that we would start over is if we got compliance and closed out and six months later we got a call on another violation,” he said.
“If ten people call in, we don’t log it in ten times. We’re not trying to build numbers,” he added.
Despite not building them, the numbers continue to climb.
“The numbers are growing,” said Guyton who followed up by asking Broschart his opinion about whether the numbers would decrease if nothing is done.
“I can’t see that it would,” said Broschart.
In the meantime, the township continues its participation to accept bids from haulers as a part of the consortium.
The board expects to know the winning bid by Aug. 26, and will decide whether or not to proceed from there, said Guyton.