Trash haulers, customers protest Reading’s citywide plan | Berks Regional News
READING, Pa. – Some private garbage trucks and their very vocal supporters stank in Reading on Tuesday. They gathered outside City Hall to protest the city’s recent decision to adopt a single garbage truck.
For private plumbing companies like those run by Keith Kemp and his nephew Cleon Kemp, the decision will have a serious impact on their businesses. They said it would take away half of their customers.
“We’re a family business. We’re small, a three-truck business,” said Keith Kemp. “We cannot offer the whole city of Reading.”
Last month, the city council voted to move to a city-wide garbage service.
“A single community collection system for garbage trucks is a well-documented best practice that has improved the quality of life in many communities,” Reading Mayor Eddie Moran said in a statement his office released during the protest. “Several options were given and made available to ensure that every side of the solid waste collection debate was heard.”
Local carriers disagree.
“We tried to meet with them, tried to meet with them,” said Cleon Kemp. “They wouldn’t meet with us. Then, suddenly, when it was voted through, they met with us.”
Customers like Cindy Care said they don’t believe the city will get cleaner after switching to a single garbage truck.
“Today’s generation has a trash can right in front of them,” she said, “they throw their rubbish in the gutter or on the street, regardless of whether we have municipal or private freight forwarders.”
Both Kemps said that they and other local freight forwarders enjoy the support of customers who, in many cases, are more like good friends.
“We have customers who help us with the petition, sign up and try to get them into the referendum and vote,” said Cleon Kemp. “So people have a choice, people have a voice, and hopefully that helps.” us.”