Last September, the Slippery Rock Borough voted to change bulk trash pickup day from May to March, causing garbage from students moving out to be left by the roadside throughout the summer.
“I guess there was no clear cut reason why they changed [the bulk trash pickup date],” Borough landlord Frank Monteleone Jr. explained. “One theory was that they thought that the students were costing the other townspeople more money.” Monteleone argued against that view by estimating that 99 percent who live off campus pay for garbage for 12 months per year.
SRU English professor and Slippery Rock Borough council member Dr. Itzi Meztli was also against the change.
“The borough just wasted one bulk trash pickup day,” Meztli explained. “ Sometimes the weather is bad in winter. Nobody is going to want to take their garbage outside if there’s ice or snow. It’s just silly.”
When they proposed the different bulk trash pickup days, Monteleone called members of all the other state owned western Pa. schools in order to find out if they had bulk trash days after graduation.
According to Monteleone, California University has 10 bulk trash days, Edinboro has three bulk trash days, and Indiana University picks up trash every day after graduation until all of the garbage is gone. Currently, Slippery Rock has two bulk trash days; one is Sept. 20 and the other is March 16.
“I don’t know why we have to be the oddball here,” Monteleone said. “How they expect all these people to move out of here and not have [a bulk trash pickup] is just insane.”
Meztli started a petition to move the trash pickup date from March back to May in time for SRU graduation. He raised over 750 signatures.
After receiving the petition, the borough decided to create a 16-member citizens committee in order to study the issue. Meztli explained that this committee was never told specifically what they were supposed to study.
In order to assist the committee to settle the debate of when the bulk trash days should be held, the borough is considering hiring a consultant.
According to Meztli, the decision to hire a consultant was not discussed during a public meeting, but instead through an e-mail sent to members of the council.
Meztli objected to the idea of hiring outside source to decide on how the garbage issue should be handled because he thought it was a waste of money.
The consultant that the council is considering hiring would cost $90 per hour for an undecided amount of time. Meztli said that the consultant is a lawyer who lives in Cranberry and that his travel time alone would cost Slippery Rock $90.
The decision to hire a consultant is still under discussion.