Fix the waste problem without hurting business owners

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

Monday’s discussion by the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors to shift to a countywide trash pickup system could be worrisome for those who make a living hauling household waste to the landfill.

For the uninitiated, Pearl River County residents living outside of a municipality can opt to bring their household waste to Central Landfill themselves, where they can dispose of up to four bags of trash per week for free, or pay someone else to do it.

For those who would rather pay a private business to handle that task, residents have a variety of waste haulers to choose from. Most are owned and operated by local residents who have learned to make a living from the business model.

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The vast majority of them are reputable businessmen and women who do their best to ensure trash gets to the landfill and doesn’t end up on the roadside.

But there are those few companies who fall short of that goal, resulting in bags of trash lining the route to Millard.

Another aspect of this system is that residents can opt out completely, resulting in many dealing with their waste by burning or burying it on their property.

A proposal by the Board is to keep these business owners going, and entice more people to put their waste where it belongs, entails having the current haulers bid on a section of the county.

It’s an interesting take on moving this county to a system so many others already employ.

No matter what the conclusion of the Board is, something needs to be done to ensure that every county resident is putting their waste where it belongs, and not dumping illegally.

I expect the Board will find a method that doesn’t put independent haulers out of business.