Take care of the garbage

Published 1:41 am Sunday, October 18, 2009

Last week the first of several independent garbage collectors proposed their services to the garbage subcommittee of the Selma City Council.

No decision has been made.

The city’s garbage operation suffers because people don’t pay. At last count, about $500,000 had yet to be collected from Selma residents.

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Consider the overhead (and some of this is included in the proposed $12 million bond issue) of machinery, especially trucks, those green carts and employees. For all this, residents in Selma pay about $12 a month for once-a-week garbage pickup.

Along comes one independent operator who says he’ll get his or pick up the cart. His cost is a little higher at $13.55 per month ($1.50 the price of a soda and peanut butter crackers once a month).

Outsourcing the garbage collection would put a little more pressure on others, however. If the independent collector picked up the cart for nonpayment, somebody would have to cite the resident for allowing garbage to pile up, if it did. Perhaps the individual would take the garbage to a dump somewhere and pay there to dispose of it.

Additionally, council members would receive myriad phone calls from hard cases who couldn’t afford the $13.55 per month and wouldn’t pay it. The list goes on.

The question is: Will the council bite the bullet and move toward a less expensive solution for the city?