Curbside Leaf Recycling Program
Background Information & Outcome
The legislation: Ordinance No. 108-02. An ordinance authorizing the Mayor of
the City of North Canton, through the Board of Control, to enter
into a professional service contract for curbside leaf recycling
for the City of North Canton, at a cost not to exceed $50,000
and declaring the same to be an emergency.
The legislation originated as a
request from Administration Director David J. Held to the Chairman of the Water, Sewer and Rubbish
Committee in a letter dated October 3, 2002. It was discussed by
the Water, Sewer and Rubbish Committee and council and referred
out of committee for legislation on October 7, 2002.
Before council voted on the proposed leaf recycling program,
a fax dated October 12, 2002, was sent to council office from a
resident describing the problems the proposed leaf recycling
program would impose on them.
I had concerns about this program as well, which I outlined in a
letter to Mayor Tom Rice
to him and members of council prior to the
October 12th council meeting. In the letter,
I provided information on what nearby townships
had been doing successfully for many years at a much lower cost.
In spite of the fact that I had learned that the city’s contract
with its’ waste hauler gave them exclusive authority to collect
all wastes in North Canton, I provided two bids from two local
landscape firms for the same service.
The bids ($39,000 and $37,800) were
substantially less than the $50,000 fee being
charged by the city’s contracted waste hauler, Republic Waste. I
asked the administration why they did not call the waste hauler
and ask them to waive their exclusive on just the pickup of
biodegradable yard waste in the city. The City Administrator
stated “Why would we want to – I‘m not sure why we would want to
I responded, “So we can solicit bids. I mean I have two bids
here that are substantially lower than the $50,000 that…”
This discussion begins on page seven of the
for October 14, 2002 (see Item 13).
Outcome: The legislation was read at one open council
meeting on October 14, 2002. The administration had requested
that the legislation be passed on an emergency. Passage of
legislation on an emergency requires six votes of council and
allows legislation to take affect immediately upon its approval
by the mayor.
In the only reading of the legislation, all members present
voted as follows:
Yes: Snyder, Foltz, Kiesling, Lindower, Magel & McLaughlin
A second vote was taken by council to suspend the rules
requiring the legislation be read at three different, regular
council meetings. In the vote to suspend the rules for this
legislation, all members present voted as follows:
Yes: Foltz, Kiesling, Lindower, Magel, McLaughlin, & Snyder
A third vote to adopt the legislation under the suspension of
the rules was taken. In the vote to adopt the legislation under
the suspension of the rules, all members present voted as
Yes: Kiesling, Lindower, Magel, McLaughlin, Snyder & Foltz
The passage of the legislation was reported in the
Repository, October 15, 2002, titled, “Bob-O-Link in line for
After this legislation was passed on an “emergency” on
October 14, 2002, the administration mailed flyers announcing
the Leaf Recycling Program to residents.
that was mailed at public expense citywide proclaimed, "City of North Canton Introduces Time Rice's Leaf
Recycling Program." I thought that the wording on the
announcement was self-serving, and that it should have read, "City of North Canton Introduces New Leaf Recycling
I expressed my displeasure in
a letter to Mayor Tom Rice,
which I also read at an
October 28, 2002 council meeting. At the same meeting, Ward Three Councilman Rickie McLaughlin and Councilwoman
Marcia Kiesling also expressed displeasure about the wording of
Our aversion to the wording of the flyer was reported in a Repository newspaper
report on October 29, 2002, titled, “N. Canton councilmen have
beef over leaf flier; postal worker’s action earns praise.”
The Repository report begins, “When City Council members
approved a six-week, $50,000 curbside leaf recycling program,
they didn’t expect it to be named after Mayor Tom Rice.”
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My Position and Rationale
I was opposed to the expenditure of $50,000 for the curbside
pickup of leaves for six-weeks.
||The program for the curbside pickup of leaves was brought
to council extremely late in the season.
||The $50,000 price tag for the curbside pickup of leaves
was quite expensive.
The city already had a contract for the pickup of
biodegradable yard waste with Republic Waste. The problem was
that the waste hauler could dispose of the bagged leaves at a
landfill under the present contract.
In effect, this legislation allowed the waste hauler to
collect additional fees in exchange for not taking the leaves to
a landfill. The residents of the City of North Canton were
actually paying twice for the same service.
||The use of paper bags seemed to be a problem for the
The purchase of paper bags was inconvenient and expensive
The paper bags would likely fail in inclement weather.
||The Leaf Recycling Program should not be rushed through
council as emergency legislation.
When legislation is passed on an “emergency”, residents do
not have time to present ideas or provide input into the
Given that the bags were expensive and not durable in
inclement weather, I had suggested in a Council of the Whole
meeting the week before the vote on this legislation that
the city experiment with having residents rake their leaves
into the curb and contract with a vendor who would vacuum
the leaves from the curb. This would save residents the
trouble of buying special bags and the trouble of bagging
the leaves. This is done in the Village of Hill and Dales and in Akron.
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Research & Documentation
Akron Beacon Journal*
Akron Beacon Journal articles are available to view on the
web for a fee of $2.95 per article. Past
Akron Beacon Journal editions can also be found at local public
||Council unites fire, EMS departments (October 15, 2002)
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