UPDATED: Take My Garbage Collection… Please

Tiverton has single-payer curbside garbage collection.  Some of my tax-hawk friends like it because it’s a service they actually use, and (they argue) they couldn’t get as good a price as the town is able to negotiate.  Me, I hate it and would gladly make other arrangements.

The smaller part of my reason is that the town has for decades failed to prepare for the filling of its dump, so it’s instituted a “pay as you throw” program that charges us $1 or $2 per garbage bag that’s collected… in addition to the taxes that were previously considered to be the whole cost of trash pickup.  (That represents at least a doubling of the price, to my household.)  There’s no escaping the per-bag fee, because we have to use the same bags if we bring the trash to the dump ourselves, and there’s no escaping the tax, which we would pay even if we found some way to live without generating any trash at all.

But my bigger objection is that we’ve got next to no recourse if we’re unhappy with the service.  Since I’ve lived in town, I’ve had two garbage barrels destroyed, and the current one limps along with a monthly repair.  Today, a barrel that I bought for our recycling is gone, and it appears very likely that it was thrown in the truck, rather than emptied into it.

What’s the recourse?  Call the town?  Call the contractor?  Why should any of them care?  The fact that people in town are effectively required to hire this particular garbage company means that the protests of a single resident amount to very little.  Even if many were dissatisfied, we’d have to be so upset as to deliberately organize in order to force a change of town policy.

Can’t wait for single-payer government healthcare!


UPDATE 12/17/13 12:54 p.m.

By way of a follow-up: The head of the town department of public works responded to an email that I’d sent him last night, and he offered to replace the missing one, although the rubbish contractor said no barrels were taken.  Immediately after reading his email, I was on my way to run an errand and spotted the recycle barrel a good distance down the street.  How it got there I don’t know.

That reduces the immediate reason for my post, but my frustrations have been long building, and I’d still prefer not to have curbside pickup through the town.

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