I have been extremely busy during the past two months due to holiday special sections and short press times. For that reason, I have had little to no time to write my column but now that the new year is here, my resolution is to make up for lost ground.
I recently moved to the country where your choices of disposing of household trash is to either hire a service for pickup or to use a county refuse dump site. No biggie for me because I have a nearby site that is convenient and of course — free. But in the use of that site, I have come across a fact that seems a bit of an issue for residents who live near me.
A few months ago I wrote a story about the use of county box sites, including limitations, requirements and potential fines if rules are not followed. Those requirements as told to me by LeFlore County Waste Management personnel include the requirement that only household trash can be placed in the waste box and it must be in a trash bag. A daily limit of three bags per day per household also was put into effect in an attempt to make sure there is enough room for all users to dispose of their trash in between county dumping of the boxes.
For me, the limit of number of bags per day is not so much a problem as on average my household creates one bag of trash per day. The limitation only becomes a problem if I choose to take my trash to the dump once a week. That means I have seven bags, maybe more depending on the company I have had, to dispose of in a legal manner. Not so much — because an officer employed by the LCWM spends his weekends at the dump site I use. He is there every time I intend to dump my trash so here I go, I pull up, throw three bags of trash in the bin and leave with my remaining four. Doesn’t stop me from dumping it, just have to do it the next day, and so on. Because let me tell you this — should you attempt to throw your extra bags of trash into the dumpster the one and only time of the week you can make it to the site — he will get out of his white pickup and warn you that should you do so you will be given a ticket.
I have no problem with the rules, but seriously? I am not illegally dumping trash at the many sitse now referred to as gun ranges where lying around are old couches, stoves, refrigerators, unbagged trash, hypodermic needles and who knows what else. I am simply trying to effectively, consciously and responsibly throw away my household trash. What about large families? I am part of a two-member household. It isn’t hard to imagine a family with four children and an in-law or two living with them having a stockpile of trash left at the end of the week even if they did dump three bags of trash daily. I know the transfer stations are open on Saturday and the excess can be taken there, but ask yourself about the added gas expense to travel to the dump daily then to the transfer station on the weekend.
And then I ask myself, why is it that the cop is always at my dumpster? I am pretty sure there are several in the county, why just the one? I guess I could drive to another site and get rid of all my trash in one stop since there appears to be only one highly guarded county site.
My suggestion to the powers that be is increase the daily limit if possible so all of us that use the dump sites don’t have to drive away with trash only to return at a different time. I have to wonder how many people get discouraged and just dump the trash along the road rather than make the return trip?
Kim Ross is editor of the Poteau Daily News. Write her at P.O. Box 1237, Poteau, OK 74953 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org .