Valdosta Daily Times

January 11, 2013

Trash: Preparing for change

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Like it or not, the collection/recycling centers in Lowndes County will close on Feb. 3. The choice was between finding a way to fund the $600,000 annual shortfall to run the centers through fees or taxes, or go to a county-wide collection service. The county commission opted for the latter choice.

In order for your trash to be collected at your home, you must contact Advanced Disposal as soon as possible so they can deliver the trash can and get your service started. Past Feb. 3, you have no other alternative for household garbage.

Other counties much smaller and much poorer than ours have gone to mandatory curbside service in recent years and done just fine. The city has had mandatory service for a number of years and no one complains, so hopefully county residents will also adjust in time.

However, just because some people don’t agree with the new ordinance doesn’t mean they can flaunt the law and throw their trash on the highway, dump it illegally, or burn it illegally. Burn permits are allowed with some restrictions and they are free, but only small garden spots and natural vegetation can legally be burned. Household garbage, plastics, etc., are illegal to burn, with or without a burn permit.

With the curbside decision made and ready to be implemented, hopefully the county will step up enforcement against illegal dumping and illegal burning to prevent toxic pollutants from entering our air or ground water.

Hopefully, county officials are prepared to meet the challenge of enforcement while county residents meet the challenges of change.