Talking Trash

In Columbus Georgia people are pretty upset because raising garbage collection fees is under discussion. I can certainly understand that. Raising the fees for anything during these times is hard on an awful lot of folks who are unemployed, underemployed, retired, or who have been struggling to make ends meet even before the economy crashed.
Columbus Georgia and Portland Oregon, while not similar in size, are two examples of how your garbage is disposed of. In Columbus garbage at our house is picked up by prisoners on work programs. In Portland my trash was picked up by a private firm with actual employees. Here collection is twice a week with once a week recycling and yard debris. As far as I can tell I can put out as much garbage (within reason) for collection as I have the need for. In Portland I had one 30 gallon can and paid extra if I added another bag. If my garbage can was deemed too heavy by the worker picking it up, I was left a reminder about weight limits. I got one bin provided by my hauling company for yard waste. It was a pretty good size and it was picked up every other week. If you forgot to put out the bin, or had a lot of yard debris, you could indeed put out more. You had to put the yard waste in biodegradable bags you bought at the store which were then hauled away for an extra fee per bag.
The truck drivers in Portland (at least in my neighborhood) delighted in parking the truck in the exact middle of the road so not cars could get by on either side. Here I notice an effort to keep the traffic moving. I pointed out to one prison worker he had dropped his gloves and was treated with a very polite, “Thank you ma’am.” Quite different from a note your can was too heavy and not placed in exactly the right spot….never mind it didn’t fit in the right spot because there was no place left to pile the snow.
For all of this in Portland I paid $50 a month and here in Columbus it is $14 a month. There are no easy answers.


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