SANDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – When Sands Township officials announced on Monday that they were temporarily suspending curbside garbage collection and instead offering a drop-off service for household garbage, they were not expecting the response from the community. Hundreds of comments were posted on their Facebook page and the office received numerous calls.
“Initially what we were dealing with was trying to balance the safety of our sanitation crew with the directive from the Governor.” That’s what Sands Township Supervisor, Darlene Walch explained to Local 3 News on Tuesday.
After listening to public comment, reviewing the Governor’s recommendations, and speaking with other officials, Sands Township decided to amend the garbage collection practices.
“We are aware that not everyone is going to feel comfortable with taking their garbage to a location and being able to toss it in the truck. Not everybody has the ability to do that. We are aware of that and we are taking it into consideration.”
According to Walch, the way garbage pickup is done in the township, it is difficult to follow the social distancing protocol because of the limitations of their trucks. Walch also tells us all of the sanitation workers for the township are at or close to the age range of older adults at a higher risk for COVID-19.
“We needed some time to put together some different protocols to keep our crews safe. In order to do that, we opted to cancel the runs and make the truck available for residents to drop their garbage if they chose to do so at various locations.”
Those safety changes for the sanitation crews means not having them all ride together. They will also stage the trucks in neighborhoods. Those who would normally ride on the back of the truck the entire time will instead walk through and bring the garbage to the trucks. Sands Township has also provided additional safety gloves for its sanitation workers. All employees will have their temperatures taken before each shift.
After looking at those protocols Walch said they have new guidelines in place for their sanitation crews. Starting on Monday, March 30th, Sands Township will resume regular curbside garbage pickup. That means those who normally have garbage collection on Tuesday and Wednesday, service will continue.
Those drop off times and locations are.
- Fire Hall #2 on Silver Creek Road on Wednesday morning 9:00 a.m. – noon,
- Sands Township Transfer Station, Wednesday afternoon 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Sands Township Office, Thursday morning 9:00 a.m. – noon,
- Sands Township Transfer Station, Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
When regular services continue next week, Walch said they are trying to stick to the same collection schedule.
“We’ll cover their expenses if it takes a little longer. We want this crew to be able to collect the garbage for the next several weeks, not just this coming week or the week after. We are taking a long term view of this, hoping to keep them healthy and keeping the garbage picked up for as long as this takes.”
You can read the initial post from Sands Township and their updated statement here: