What we think: It’s your time to talk trash

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You need to speakup during public hearings about new garbage plan.

The 109 Board in Shelby County is doing one thing we heartily applaud: It scheduled five public-input sessions at various locations across the county to gather your thoughts on its plans for a new garbage/recycling center and its idea of charging you to drop your trash there.

The first of those sessions was Tuesday night in Simpsonville, and another will be held tonight at the Shelby County Health Department in Shelbyville. There are also sessions Thursday in Finchville, next Monday in Bagdad and Tuesday in Waddy.

We are glad you will have your opportunity to speak about these plans, because that’s an important part of this process.

We stated our position last week: We don’t think the 109 Board strategically is moving in the correct direction by building a $2.5 million facility that ultimately could cost you more effort and more money to provide no more services.

We think the board’s plans should be focused on developing a program for solid-waste disposal – your garbage, your recyclables, your yard trash and your miscellaneous items (such as appliances) – that collects most of those items at curbside and doesn’t require you to pay three separate times for that to happen: in property taxes, in proposed service fees and privately to a garbage pickup company.

But we simply are trying to focus the issues for you. Ultimately how this plays out is up to you.

You must go to these meetings and offer your thoughts on what is in your best interest.

You must contact members of the board, your magistrate and other county leaders to voice your concerns about why you have difficulty with the concept of paying more for no perceivable improvement in services, about how your needs aren’t being met.

The 109 Board responded quickly to our concerns by announcing that the proposed per-pound fees would not apply to recyclables, yard trash or even concrete blocks. This is strictly about paying to dump your excess garbage. We appreciate that clarity.

But we continue to believe that there should be one charge to property owners for all services, which is a system employed by thousands upon thousands of cities and counties across the country.

We believe Shelby County is an elite place to live, but having a more sensitive approach to the environment and a more well-rounded menu of government services only would enhance all our advantages and the quality and value of our lives.

Yes, the 109 Board knows how we feel.
Now its members need to hear from you.

Do your part: Go to a meeting and speak up about the future of solid-waste removal in our county.

Our property values and the future of the environment for our children depend on your input.