To: Neil Fulton
Thank you and the Selectboard for taking all of our many opinions into consideration and giving the decision process about garbage bags enough time to explore flexibility.
Would you please pass this message along to the Selectboard members too? I’d like to express 3 thoughts:
1. I’m strongly in favor of the hybrid system described in today’s Valley News. It provides flexibility and demonstrates a responsiveness to residents’ perspectives.
2. The basis for the decision should differentiate between encouraging recycling vs. dealing with the financial needs of the transfer station vs. whether town employees are caught in a bind about the judgment calls they have to make.
If it’s about recycling: I think residents already do a pretty good job, and a trash bag policy isn’t going to be the real driver in improving behaviors.
If it’s really about the financial needs: That’s absolutely fine with me ‐ I can accept that costs go up.
If it’s about town employees having to make judgment calls: I think they do a really, really good job with that already and personally, I haven’t witnessed people getting angry at the town employees. If they need to “round up” their estimate instead of “round down,” I’m OK with that. The occasional odd‐size large thing that doesn’t happen to fit any trash bag shape will still require judgment calls by town employees anyway, so let’s express our confidence in them.
3. Please make sure any final proposal addresses the needs of people who live on their own, like me, and don’t generate a lot of trash every week. I use 13‐gallon trash bags but there are many reasons why I’d need to go to the dump with a half‐full bag — notably when throwing out dead mice (my dogs will dig them up outdoors), non‐compostable food scraps, or other offensive things before waiting for a full bag to fill up, particularly in the summer when these smells would get terrible if left in my kitchen waiting for the bag to fill, or if left in the garage for 2 weeks. To have to pay for a trash bag of set size and then take it to the dump half full means I’d pay double for these situations, just because I live alone. The alternative is to keep a half‐full bag in my garage, wait for another small bag to fill up the next week, then double‐bag them inside a town‐purchased trash bag, which puts more plastic in our landfills and defeats the recycling goal.
Thanks for listening and weighing town opinions, and please approve the hybrid proposal!