Hudson -- A survey on trash collection needs a little tweaking and a letter of explanation before it's distributed to the community.

The city's Environmental Awareness Committee had hoped to distribute the surveys at Green on the Green Day Hudson's Environment Expo Sept. 20, but City Council members wanted some changes made first.

The survey will be available online at the city website and at the library and other locations once a final draft is approved.

Members of the Environmental Awareness Committee, Vice Chair Ed Resnick and Jeff Wells along with Sonya Mottram, administrative support supervisor for public works, presented a draft of the survey Aug. 26 to Council members.

The survey is a tool to obtain feedback to judge the concerns of residents, Resnick said.

"The contract [for trash haulers] is worded depending on what people want," he said. "We can manage it properly to get lower costs and increase recycling and less litter."

The survey could lead to potential lower costs and lower traffic on roads from trash trucks, Resnick said.

"Once we fix streets, we don't want then beat up again," Resnick said.

The committee would like to distribute it in September and have them completed through Nov. 1. The committee would return to Council in February 2015 with the results.

Council member Dan Williams said he was happy to see his previous suggestions for questions included in the survey, including "Would you participate in a citywide refuse/recycling program if it reduced your trash bill?," "What services are most important to you?," and "Would you be willing to switch to a different hauler if it would result in fewer trash haulers or reduce the number of collection days?"

Council member William Wooldredge said he liked the survey.

"It's simple and straight forward," he said. "I don't want to fill out a long questionnaire."

Council President Hal DeSaussure asked about special issues like hauling mattresses or toilets away.

"We have six license dealers," he said. "We won't have that. We'll have one managed through a central contract. These questions don't get to that."

Council member Keith Smith asked about a preferred hauler instead of a single hauler.

"Would you opt out to keep your service?" Smith said.

City Manager Jane Howington said a cover letter could accompany the survey and describe the current conditions and options. The survey would show if the residents have an appetite to explore other options, she said.

"We won't be able to answer all the questions at one time," Howington said.

Resnick said the committee would draw up a letter of explanation of why they are putting out a survey and bring it back to Council for approval in a week or two.


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