Stick with town trash service

Friday, March 02, 2018

I was disappointed in the Recorder’s coverage of the Greenfield Public Works Department information session provided by Don Ouellette on Feb. 22.

Don provided an analysis of both solid waste and sludge removal. He gave options, explained the costs and benefits, and thoughtfully answered our questions with good information and humor.

The Recorder concentrated on a possible increase of 25 cents in the cost of trash stickers and said almost nothing about anything else. Such reporting stokes the anxieties of residents who believe that the only thing government is doing is raising taxes and fees. It does nothing to create the constructive dialogue between residents and city officials that was evident in that meeting.

Greenfield’s trash collection costs each household about $233 per year, including what we pay for stickers. That amounts to $4.48 per week for a truck to come to our homes, pick up the trash and the recycling and do the processing. That is the cost of a few cups of coffee, depending on where you buy it.

Our DPW does an impressive job and does it well. Don and his crew are responsive to our calls and requests. They think through the options and give us multiple ways to solve issues.

The Recorder’s presentation of the discussion as only involving a 25-cent increase in sticker fees denies the complexity and thoughtfulness of the discussion and polarizes the community. We should continue with trash collection through our DPW and not privatize this service.

That may include an increase in the sticker fees, but as long as the service stays as a town service, we get to decide what needs to be done, how it will be done and how much it will cost. A private company will also raise fees, but will only tell us what we have to pay. That is a big difference.

Susan Worgaftik