Front Collection: A Good Idea

To the Editor;
In the two most recent copies of The Capital, five people have expressed their negative opinions about the change to garbage collection. So that we don't get the idea that there is only a negative side, I want to point out that there are a lot of us in town who think it is a good idea. The five letters that were previously entered dealt with not only wider issues, but issues that were focused on their own individual property situation. I would like to try to address the bigger picture.
The concern that the population of the Town was not consulted was mentioned. A plebiscite would have been expensive and somewhat unworkable; a town hall meeting would have had both sides square off and the town staff do not have the hours to spend phoning everyone for an opinion. The other side of that is that the Town Office is open five days a week usually, and we are free to go in and express our opinion about any issue that affects the Town or its residents. So if people did not take that opportunity, they have only themselves to hold responsible.
Another part of the wider picture is that there is a portion of the Town that does not have back lanes, and their garbage has been collected from the front curb for some time, and as of yet, we have not suffered a serious accident or fatality to Town staff, and we have not had a blizzard of garbage blowing up and down those streets because the cats and dogs left the back lanes and moved to the front. Nowhere does it say that the bags have to be placed in a driveway, so not having a front driveway is not really an issue, and we are limited to three bags per household. Rarely is there a "pile" of bags put out, but often less than three bags.
The fact that people missed the adjusted time and date is not a deciding factor, either. There will always be a percentage of people who initially miss the details because you often see garbage placed out both front and back on non-collection days. As for back lane containers, time and again they are not actually used, but bags are placed on top of them and the by-law does state that garbage should be placed in a bin with a lid. We as a household are using our bin out front.
The Town Council cannot control the weather, and so the spring thaw mud in the back lanes is an issue, and snow service in town is limited by dollars so the streets get priority, so the unpaved back lanes often create a mud issue in the spring.
With my street now experiencing front curb pickup, I have noticed that the truck is only out front for a few seconds, and not "early in the morning". I for one will benefit from the change in an individual home focus context, because the only reason I fight through the snow drifts in my back yard all winter, is to take my garbage to the back lane. I won't have to do that now, because my front walk is always clear.
So I want to say I think it is a good change, and I support it, which was exactly what I told the Town Office when it became an issue. I didn't wait for them to phone me.
Yours, one happy bagger,
Neville Wilkins