Westminster has no business deciding who should collect resident's trash, City Councilors were told Monday night.
More than 150 residents crowded the City Council chambers and the hall surrounding it to argue against bringing curbside trash collections under city control.
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"If we have one hauler for the city, we do away with free enterprise," said Skip Fischer, defending the current arrangement. "If it's not broke, don't fix it."
More than half signed up to address councilors and Mayor Herb Atchinson promised all would get a chance to speak. True to his word, he adjourned Monday's meeting after # 3 1/2 hours tabling the rest of the public comments until the next meeting on Feb. 27.
That also tabled a post-meeting staff report on the issue until the end of the Feb. 27 meeting.
Westminster is reviewing its solid waste options with the intent of improving recycling collections and reducing costs. The city currently licenses trash haulers, but residents must find and hire a company to collect their trash on their own.
Options the city is mulling range from contracting with one or more private trash haulers to serve the city to requiring current haulers to offer better services with stiffer licenses.
Councilors said they have not made up their mind and Atchinson said they would not decide this week.
But for many of the speakers Monday, only one decision made sense -- don't change.
For most, it represents an unwanted intrusion from the city into their private lives.
"We really don't need any municipality getting involved in personal business any more than necessary," Joe Janecky said.
George Haberkorn said any changes were unnecessary. He already recycles on his own without paying to do it.
"Why would I want to pay somebody to haul my recycling away? Well, I don't," Haberkorn said. "Why should I when I can accomplish it on my own?"
Not everyone was opposed. Michael and Michele Melio both spoke in favor of recycling for environmental reasons.
"I'm a little disturbed that so many among us seem to be indifferent to the amount of pollution that is occurring on this planet," Michele Melio said.
Recycling is not the issue, John Anthony said.
"We're okay with recycling," Anthony said. "We just don't want to be forced to go with a company someone else chooses."
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