LJWorld.com weblogs Kansas cynic
Garbage collection in Lawrence: Beware changes
I have always admired the curbside trash collection system in Lawrence. It's almost always on time, the trash collectors are hardworking and courteous -- even when their goodwill is tested by over-stuffed bins or bulky items. And, they're quick -- as I understand it -- because they are paid by for the job and not just by the hour; every minute they save by not goldbricking means they get off work a minute earlier, which seems efficient and fair.
Lately, however, there's been talk at city hall about changing the system, including using more automation that would require specialty trash bins and such.
I'm naturally conservative; if it ain't broke don't fix it. A Dec. 31st story in the Wall Street Journal suggests Toledo's trash collection system as a case study in the need for caution.
"Barely a year ago, city officials here [Toledo] pledged to residents that they could automate trash collection and balance the trash budget without any cuts to service. Since then, they have been scrambling to deal with headaches associated with the new system and its bin-grabbing trucks, which have left messes on residents' curbs and saddled the city with $1.3 million in unanticipated expenses."
I think our City Hall bureaucrats and often ham-fisted city commissioners ought to examine carefully the Toledo example, and be very cautious about overhauling the trash collection system in Lawrence, a system that seems to be working pretty well.