Some Prince William County Supervisors say they don’t want to get into the trash business even though residents of the Occoquan Forest subdivision would like them to.
For the supervisors, it means bigger government; but for some people, a consolidated trash service means fewer headaches.
About 180 residents of the Occoquan River community petitioned the Board of County Supervisors to manage their trash collection service.
In Occoquan Forest, most of the residents say they just want one trash hauler. They’ve asked the county to be their contract manager who accepts bids and negotiates hauling rates.
“There are garbage cans outside all the time,” said resident Judy Mote. “It’s hard to keep track of whose cans they are because every day there’s a pick up.”
As many as 25 trash haulers a week drive up and down the streets of her neighborhood, said Mote, a past member of the Occoquan Forest homeowners association.
John Barbazette, an active member of the homeowners association, said the daily truck trips disturb the character of the quiet neighborhood.
“The quantity of haulers creates an amount of chaos,” Barbazette said.
Some homeowners associations manage their own trash hauling contracts with a single company, but Barbazette said Occoquan Forest’s homeowners association is voluntary.
Residents still have to abide by covenants there, but it’s hard for them to organize everyone to contract with the same trash service, he said.
“In a community where they have mandatory membership it’s easier for them to … enforce it,” Barbazette said.
If the county’s supervisors decided to begin managing trash-hauling contracts for neighborhoods, it would help organize these kinds of neighborhoods or those without homeowners associations, said Tim Smith, solid waste division chief.
The county would charge homeowners for the service on their property tax bills and would assess another $2 fee for managing the accounts, Smith said.
“I would not be in favor of this,” said Supervisor Maureen S. Caddigan, R-Dumfries. “It’s more government.”
Supervisor John Jenkins, D-Neabsco, agreed with Caddigan.
He said he didn’t like the idea because it would limit homeowners’ abilities to choose their own trash hauler.
Supervisor Marty Nohe, R-Coles, said he’s conflicted over whether to support the residents’ request or deny it.
He said residents should have a chance to voice their opinions at a public hearing over the matter and other supervisors agreed.
No date has been set for a public hearing, but supervisors agreed that they would authorize one at a future meeting.
If supervisors agree to manage the subdivision’s trash hauling service, Smith said the county could consolidate to one hauler by next summer.