Friday, December 3, 2010

One Person's Trash

Some thoughts on trash.

There were many complaints about the rail cars parked on the private rail lines behind Boardman Lake condos. Apparently they blocked the view of the Cone Drive parking lot. I was surprised by the complaints as I find the means of industrial production to have its own beauty. Things like rail cars, bridges, skyscrapers, and freighters. What makes rail cars an eyesore yet a freighter in our beautiful bay an attraction? Why did people complain about rail cars yet seem to miss the trash scattered around Boardman Lake and the acres of invasive baby's breath next to the condos? In fact, I was saddened yesterday when the cars were no longer there.

Perhaps it is because working on a single issue (that really isn't a problem) is easier than fixing real problems.

Like Traverse City's single-hauler waste removal proposal. What problem are they trying to fix? What will this do to innovative business like BARC that want to offer comprehensive recycling and curbside compost pickup? As it is now I pay $10 per month to Waste Management based on a voluntary program Christine Maxbauer spearheaded. That's the way it should be - let neighborhoods get their own deals but don't get city government involved.

In other words, if you like having one cable company you're going to love having just one trash hauler (and told you can't use anyone else). That would be like telling everyone they have to use Charter or they can't have television and Internet.

Or it may be the city is working on a single-hauler trash program because that is easier than dealing with real issues that are hurting businesses and citizens. How about fixing a real problem like that recently highlighted by the Northern Express and craft a "BYOB" ordinance so the tiny restaurants can succeed?