There’s a little pile of rubble on Covington Street. It’s no more than six-feet square.
It’s been sitting there for a couple of weeks. I can testify to that. I walk by there with my wife and a couple of my neighbors most every day on our morning exercise walk.
Found out yesterday from the woman who lives there with her blind husband that the city refuses to pick it up. It’s got some carpet in it.
Rejected. Not acceptable. Carpet.
The woman said she would take it away herself but she doesn’t have a truck. She said that when she moved there 10 years ago and remodeled the house, carpet was set to the street and the city collected it.
I guess things change.
It’s a small thing, trash collection. it’s also a really big deal if it sits in front of your house for a long period of time, isn’t it?
We want our city to be a nice place to live, don’t we? Apparently it is, given the recent price of houses selling here. Well, if it’s not nice, it’s certainly expensive.
Collecting trash is a basic service provided by most cities. Here in East Ridge, each household pays $180 a year for that service. It’s called a sanitation fee and its tacked on to your property tax bill if you own your home outright. The fee is built into your mortgage if you have one.
Our sanitation department is budgeted at around $2 million a year. The way our trash is collected has evolved into a complicated mess. We’ve got regular trash service and recycling. That’s pretty simple. But, then we’ve got trucks that pick up brush taken to the street. But there are rules about the length of the pieces of brush that will be picked up.
Then we’ve got a boom truck that picks up “bulk” items … furniture, pianos, appliances, big pieces of refuse.
Sometimes that same boom truck picks up little piles of brush – a job that could be accomplished by one man and a pitchfork. You doubt it? I’ve seen it. Saw it in my front yard, as the operator showed no regard for my crepe myrtle and pruned it with the hydraulic boom.
I’ve seen garbage trucks rolling down my street stopping seemingly at random to pick up some piles of brush and not others. I’ve seen two garbage trucks on my street at the same time … one going down one side of the street, the other going in the opposite direction, both picking up regularly-scheduled trash.
All this is right around the corner from my neighbor on Covington, whose little pile of rubbish that includes a small piece of carpet sits and ages. She and her neighbors have to look at it every day as they come and go. Every day that goes by, the trash is a reminder to them that City Hall doesn’t really care.
Here’s an idea for the decision makers inside City Hall … if there’s rubbish put out to the road by residents who are paying the city to have it collected, have the sanitation workers pick it up.