Jackson Changes Garbage Ordinance

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As Erik Skidmore told the Jackson City Council, Tuesday night, hauling trash is how he earns his living.

"Probably 80 percent of my company is within the city limits," he said.

With a 5-2 approval by the council, Skidmore, and other independent haulers will have to look elsewhere.

"I've been born and raised in Jackson, Michigan and basically, I've just been stripped of my livelihood," said Skidmore.

It's part of a change to the city's garbage ordinance. Now, instead of having multiple companies hauling trash, the lowest-bidding company will be given a contract for the whole city.

Councilman Derek Dobies, who voted in favor of the change, says the ordinance will streamline trash hauling for roughly 12,000 homes.

As for those worried about their jobs...

"There's no local hauler that's able to satisfy all those accounts, so whoever gets the winning bid will likely have a chance to work with those different haulers that didn't get the bid," said Dobies.

However, there's another concern from those who take care of their own trash. Starting November 1, the ordinance will require everyone in the city to go through the selected hauler.

"Right now, going to the incinerator, I pay $8-10 a month, at the most," said Amanda Smock, who is worried about paying more for trash services. "We're just going to have another bill."

On the other hand, Dobies says many people who don't use a service are also dirtying the city by leaving their trash in vacant lots. He hopes the ordinance takes care of that.

"We have to clean up our city," he said.

Jackson City Manager, Patrick Burtch, says the single-hauler system should lower overall pickup fees, saving residents up to $1.8 million.

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