Niles city council proposing new waste collection ordinance

The city of Niles is “talking trash”. An ordinance could be passed that would affect all residents.

Niles city council is proposing changing its current solid waste, recycling and yard collection system.

City residents currently have a choice to select who handles their waste and trash collection, or they can opt out of it altogether. But if this ordinance passes, the city would use a single trash hauler and all residents, landlords or businesses with four units or less would be required to have service with that company.

“The reason the ordinance was being considered is because we’ve experienced an upturn in code enforcement issues with people who have chosen not to have trash service and then they start storing the trash on site,” said Richard Huff, the Niles’s City Administrator.

The city council believes the change would lower the cost of service as much as fifty-percent, keep the city cleaner and healthier and make billing easier for the city and its residents.

Despite the council saying there are benefits, some residents don’t agree. The proposal is gaining attention online. The Michiana Recycling and Disposal Services wrote on Facebook that they are “shocked and stunned” to hear about the ordinance.

“I’m not certain I can convince anyone to look at it differently if they feel very passionate about who is picking up their garbage,” said Huff.

Council members have talked about the issue for nearly twenty years, especially because they’ve seen it work in surrounding areas.

“We’re one of the very few communities in the county that don’t have single hauler trash service and as we look as those costs in those communities, they’re less then what people are paying in our community for trash service,” said Huff.

On Monday night, the council will meet again and the ordinance is on the agenda. They expect and encourage the public to show up and that anything can happen.

 “The city council can make several decisions. Whether to remand it back to a committee or review, or not take any action on it at all, approves the ordinance…any of those solutions are possible Monday night,” Huff said.

The meeting will start at 6 P.M. at the Fire Station located at 1345 E. Main Street in Niles.

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