County has no plans to change trash rules

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

With the proposed changes in the city’s trash pickup service, some residents of Dallas County have been wondering what may be in store for county residents.

According to Dallas County Environmentalist Larry Friday, the short answer is nothing.

The long answer is more complicated.

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Dallas County, unlike Selma, doesn’t require mandatory garbage pickup. The county does require proper disposal, but how that comes about is entirely up to individual property owners.

A few companies operate in the county offering garbage pickup. Other residents simply take their trash to the county landfill themselves.

Recently, Friday said his department completed a 10-year plan required by the state. In the plan, Friday said the county presented mandatory pickup as a possible plan for the future, but it doesn’t require the county to adopt any policy.

“We didn’t paint ourselves in a corner,” he said.

Friday said that while no one commissioner is opposed to the idea of mandatory pickup, he doesn’t think the community will accept it at large.

“The biggest thing is a majority of the population doesn’t like the idea of being told what to do,” he said. “They don’t like the word ‘mandatory.'”

Friday said that if the county does decide to change to mandatory pickup in the future – the far future, he said – the County Commission would contract services.

“We don’t want to get in the garbage business,” Friday said. “We don’t want to buy a bunch of expensive trucks and expand our payroll.”

He said that while the county will have to pay for the cost of administering the project, most of the cost would be borne by consumers.

The idea of creating a new expense for some residents doesn’t appeal to the county, Friday said.

“Obviously, if we to mandatory, that would force people to have to pay to have their waste carried off,” he said.

Until those facts change, Friday said the county’s garbage requirements wouldn’t change.

“They’re (county residents) doing just fine and they don’t want to change it,” he said.