To the Editor —
As Kristin McLaughlin and I visited hundreds of houses throughout Hopewell Township over the past few months, we have heard three primary concerns from residents. I would like to address one of those concerns this week — bulky waste pickup.
This fall marks the two year anniversary of the last pickup of bulky waste. The 2015 fire in the Public Works garage destroyed the refuse truck, which has not been replaced. Without a truck, there has been no pickup. Residents are left on their own to dispose of waste, or have been forced to keep it in their homes. Time and again, people have expressed their irritation and bewilderment when they have asked me, “When will we see bulky waste pickup again?”
Based on what Kristin and I have heard, there is no question — bulky waste pickup is an important service for many residents and should resume as soon as possible. Otherwise, we run the risk of large items being abandoned along our roads or in the woods, creating aesthetic and environmental issues that the Township will have to resolve.
As for how, the Township Committee should consider a two-pronged approach while working towards a longer-term solution. First, there should be a central location, perhaps at the Public Works garage, for residents who are able to drop off their waste to do so. This option will allow many residents to get rid of waste, particularly smaller items, quickly at minimal cost to the Township.
Second, we must have the option of at-home pickup for those residents who cannot transport waste to a central location. As Kristin said in comments to the Committee last month and in a recent letter to the editor, dropping off bulky waste is a great option for some but not for others, particularly seniors. While the Township Committee works through its longer-term plan on bulky waste, we should rent a suitable truck to allow at-home pickup.
Kristin McLaughlin and I are running for the Hopewell Township Committee to offer fresh voices and new ideas. If elected, we will work to make sure we do not observe the third anniversary of the last bulky waste pickup. We look forward to sharing ideas with you, and ask that you vote for us on November 8.
Democratic Candidate for Hopewell Township Committee