Lately, it seems a week doesn't go by without an article blaming the citizens of Garland County for the "trash" problem. Recently, our local printed newspaper showed a picture with the problem at the Amity Road "green bins." Yes, it looked terrible. No, it is not all the fault of the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. Let's look at the problem: It's Saturday, and you have cleaned up your house and yard all day. At 5:30 your wife tells you to take the trash to the dump. You get there and the gate is locked...ON THE BIGGEST CLEAN-UP DAY OF THE WEEK! The citizens are fed up with being locked out on the principle clean-up times of the week - Saturday night and all day Sunday. I have personally gone there on Sunday night and seen 4 or 5 bins in the back of the site, totally empty. Why?...because the gate is locked and residents cannot get to the bins. (it is unsafe to walk back there after dark) I believe that most people are good folks, and would put their trash in the green bins IF THEY COULD GET TO THEM. County govt. is creating its own problem! Rather than force the citizens to pay for house-to-house pick up, why didn't our county politicians try some alternatives these past 2 years?
1. Add a few more green bins to each area to alleviate overflow.
2. Allow the bin sites to be open (unlocked) until 10 pm. (and open on Sundays)
3. Completely fence the area in with chain-link fence so trash does not get scattered by the wind.
4. Pave the bin site areas so that clean-up is possible. (sweeping, spraying, etc.)
5. If those 4 don't work, use the bin site areas as transfer / recycling stations like they have on your way to Malvern or Arkadelphia.
What if you went to a physician who knew you were sick, and did nothing for 2 years - then said, "Gee you need major massive surgery now!" Isn't that what our county politicians have done with this trash problem?
When house to house pick-up begins, we will be dumping more trash into the landfill than we are now. Do you know how many recyclable cans people get out of those green bins? Do you know how many bicycles, lawn chairs and other reusables are gleaned from those bins? A friend of mine picked up a perfectly good brief case that was dropped off - another friend got a brand new cooler that a man was just getting ready to discard. With house to house pick up, there will be no more cans "saved" for recycling, no more discarded bicycles salvaged, and the landfill will gain 10% more trash!
Someone once told me that these kind of politicians need to either "help" the citizens, and stop blaming them - or get out of the way and let someone else lead.