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Garbage proposal needs more exploration

July 26, 2010

The mayor is right. There are some irresponsible residents in the city of Marshalltown who have decided that trash removal is an optional service, much to the chagrin of their neighbors.

He is also right that having multiple providers on multiple streets on multiple days is a terribly inefficient way to collect refuse. It may, indeed, shorten the life of the asphalt and concrete on the streets.

That being said, the solution cannot be to mandate everybody use the same service, from the same provider, depending on which quadrant of town they are living in.

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This would not only reduce consumer choice, it would also hurt the smaller haulers, who are depending on accounts in Marshalltown for their livelihood. Many would not even be able to bid on an entire quadrant of the city, meaning they would likely go out of business, if all they had to depend on was the smaller towns and rural areas.

Certainly, the city owes no one a job, but it should also not be a hinderance to private enterprise.

We applaud the city council for looking at ways to deal with this issue, but the first option will not work.

Why not consider passing an ordinance mandating everyone has garbage service from a private hauler of their choice and having each individual send proof of service each year? Why not consider designating a certain day in each quadrant when trash can be picked up and having private haulers abide by that?

There are more ideas to explore than what is currently on the table.



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