University Heights Council Committee recommends continuing residential yard garbage collection


UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The City Council Utilities and Utilities Committee decided at its Monday, Oct. 18 meeting to recommend to the administration that the city maintain its current method of garbage collection in the yard.

Whether the city should continue to collect garbage from residents’ backyards has been under discussion for more than a year as Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan has stated his belief that the garbage collection should be replaced. by a less expensive automated method at the curb. collection.

Councilor Justin Gould, chairman of the committee, said in a press release that it has now been decided to keep the collection in the backyard because “it is important that council decides on the matter before the start of the city ​​budgeting process next month ”.

Gould noted that the decision was made after solid waste study was carried out by GT Environmental and a presentation of this study was made to the board; the committee held three public hearings; and a survey was prepared by Thomas Sutton, director of the Community Research Institute at Baldwin Wallace University, with input from Brennan, director of municipal services Jeffrey Pokorny and members of council.

But, Gould said, although the council authorized the money in June for the survey to be sent to every household, it was not sent.

“Thomas Sutton has a doctorate in political science and public policy,” said Gould. “He’s a Fulbright scholar, he runs an organization that has helped cities, counties and schools survey citizens, he designed a survey for University Heights that Mayor Brennan refuses to send.

“I think automated garbage collection will come to University Heights someday, but I won’t vote without hearing from our seniors and those who will need help with automated garbage cans, and assessing how their needs will affect the expected cost savings.” , Gould mentioned.

Brennan has previously said a resident survey should be done, but disagreed with the questions in Sutton’s survey.

When asked to comment on the matter, Brennan, in an email to, wrote: “When the city council said it wanted an investigation, the administration brought them a quote from a professional who conducts solid waste investigations. The council rejected the quote, then called in a political pollster who had never done a solid waste survey before.

“Together, they resolved the questions about finances and costs,” said Brennan. “Money matters are important, as University Heights spends the third most per house, per month in the county on solid waste pickup, while also having the third worst recycling result among the suburban towns of Cuyahoga.

“The Council’s solid waste investigation then was really a waste investigation, pun intended: garbage in, garbage out,” Brennan said.

“I wasn’t going to waste taxpayer dollars releasing the council’s incomplete and political garbage poll.

“After the council refused to restore money matters, the council’s utilities and utilities committee voted to keep the pickup in the yard, which is probably what they had planned to do from the start. “, did he declare.

“Instead of restoring important poll questions so that the public can be heard, city council has concluded its political exercise and achieved its predetermined result of doing nothing. This is why municipal elections are important.

The current yard collection system costs University Heights $ 23.74 per house. Using the automated system, Brennan said, would cost around $ 15 per home.

Speaking the day after the committee meeting, Gould said some elderly and infirm residents live in houses with sloping driveways which, especially in ice and snow, pose a danger if these residents have to pull large garbage cans on the sidewalk. He believes it is essential to get the results of the survey before making a decision.

Brennan said a method could be worked out, perhaps using after-sales service workers who now do it on all job sites to help some elderly homeowners bring containers to the curb.

Gould said the city had billed Sutton for his work. The council recently got into a fight with Brennan over the payment to Sutton who the council said was overdue.

The committee’s recommendation moves to a full board vote at its next meeting on November 1.

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