I feel strongly that roll carts and the automated system for trash collection are not a solution.
I feel like my recycle collection service is already being held hostage. We pay for this system of waste collection. The generally light recycle bag is manageable though — a minor irritation.
It is the much heavier regular bag that is my biggest concern here. It’s heavy but manageable in smaller bags. Sometimes it’s tricky to carry the bags to the curb in the snow and ice, but it is manageable. Roll carts are another beast.
I’m 70 years old and live alone. I sometimes wonder how those using wheelchairs and people with other physical disabilities make it on a day-to-day basis. Staying independent in your own home is a full-time job.
Risk to employees? What about risks to elderly and citizens with disabilities? There may be less risk to employees being injured, but it’s an incredible risk to elderly and people with physical disabilities struggling to get the monsters to the curb.
They are already a higher risk-for-injury group. Who is being saved here?
If the money saved could go into assisting the people most affected, by offering a well-published, widespread outreach to everyone on Medicare or Medicaid, that would be better than nothing. The majority probably live in neighborhoods that are underserved already.
A real person could be paid to take a cart to the curb every week. Our taxes and waste collection fees would not go somewhere else, to some other department, for example.
If you can’t drive or maintain a car and need to walk, poor sidewalks are a big deal. How many motorized wheelchairs do you see in the narrow streets near Garth and Sexton?
Look at the sidewalks there. Why is this? Look at the sidewalks in the bustling Green Meadows area. They are being replaced even when they aren’t nearly as bad or don’t need repair as much as those in less privileged areas.
I bring up sidewalks to make a point.
The irony I see is how once again we take from those with fewer resources to support the city as a whole.
Any money saved from this automated system needs to go directly to an outreach program for those most affected and burdened.
Nina Hampton is a resident of Columbia.