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Your Opinion: Address yard waste disposal concerns

Your Opinion: Address yard waste disposal concerns

April 20th, 2011 by Mary Schantz, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

Now that the issue of the recycling/trash contract was put to rest on Election Day it is time to turn our collective community attention to addressing a problem, so that it doesn't grow into a festering sore that ultimately derails this basically good system. The problem: yard waste disposal.

Oscar may love trash, but most of us don't like the piles of yard waste, tree limbs, large un-compostable waste, etc that collects over the course of time. One can burn for a limited time each spring, but burning is not really good for the environment and for people living in close quarters it may not be possible or safe.

Does the city really want to promote a public policy for open burning? That's doubtful. For those who have the physical ability and a means to transport yard waste to the collection site or for those who are wealthy and can afford to pay someone to pick up their waste, perhaps this isn't an issue. But for most of us, I believe it is.

The original contract with the city offered a street side pick-up of yard waste for a monthly fee (I believe $10 a month) but the city had to attract a certain number of households before the waste contractor would be able to afford the service. Unfortunately the city failed to advertise or encourage this option and insufficient interest was shown - hence no street-side waste pickup.

City Council members need to engage the

community in meaningful and constructive discussions about the current system and encourage suggestions for improvements that go beyond "kill the contract."

Clearly a significant majority of people in Jefferson City want this system, including me. However, the lack of a reasonable way to dispose of yard waste is now and will continue to be a real problem.

Burning during restricted times or allowing large piles to accumulate (creating a breeding environment for snakes and other vermin) are realistic but unfortunate likelihoods.

As residents of Jefferson City we need to be voicing our concerns, in letters, conversations and through other legal means. I encourage readers to contact their member of the City Council and the mayor to express your concerns and to request action by the city.