Open Letter to Tweed Shire Council Regarding Trash

Dear Sirs,

I received the latest Tweed Link over the weekend and saw that the street cleanup is now starting. Unfortunately I also saw that you had written this:

"Excess amounts placed out in previous years or placed out before the Sunday prior to each area's collection week, have resulted in the collection running much slower than scheduled."

"Council enforcement officers will be actively pursuing these properties. Rubbish left out prior to the Sunday before a zone's collection week is considered Illegal Dumping."

While I have no objection to the rule about not placing excess amounts out, I must strongly object to the rule against garbage placed out prior to the week of the collection.

It seems highly improbable that placing the garbage out early would result in a delay in picking it up, so I'm forced to conclude that this is simply intended to prevent certain of the more sensitive members of our population from being perturbed by the sight of other people's trash.

But the fortunate event of people placing their rubbish out "too early" has provided us with several, most likely unanticipated, benefits that we should not discard lightly.

We are always being told to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle our garbage, and the Tweed Shire Council itself is currently endeavouring valiantly to decrease the amount of rubbish that goes into the landfill. I personally witness several Tons of goods saved from landfill for reuse and recycling every street cleanup.

In addition there is also many a less fortunate (or simply more frugal) family in our community who will sit down to dinner tonight at a dining table (or perhaps more accurately in our society: a lounge chair in front of the TV; but the point remains) saved from landfill because people put it out "too early" so there was time for the recyclers and reusers to collect it.

A final argument that figures heavily in my mind is the Joy that many people obtain from the chance to collect what can be Reused. For many in our community the street cleanup is like a less-commercial Christmas or Birthday.

Some would consider this unhealthy or distasteful, but I ask you: what is more unhealthy and distasteful: a man who celebrates the chance to Reuse or Recycle goods that would otherwise be destroyed, or one who celebrates the chance to discard his perfectly fine TV or Phone because now he can replace it with a newer one? I would say the former is more healthy, and being one of them myself, I find myself discontented by this policy of your council.

Now I certainly understand that you would want to avoid discomforting the delicate flowers whose sensitive digestion is disturbed by the sight of Trash, and the often rough, often dirty, men (and sometimes women) who turn it into Treasure, but I would suggest that your policies in support of these people is heavy-handed and discards too many benefits for the little gain, and that a longer period should instead be allowed.


Mr. Timothy M. Pollard

Systems Administrator B. Info. Tech.

Categories: Politics
Date: 2014-04-29 01:41:09, 10 years and 79 days ago

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