Care for our trash is costly arrangement

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When something smells bad, the natural, human reaction is to move away from it and avoid further contact.

Usually, that’s the best course of action. However, on rare occasions, ignoring the smell only makes things get worse.

Fortunately, Adams County leaders are holding their noses and digging into the county’s garbage collection issues.

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Dabbling in the details of garbage contracts and rates is, well, messy.

It’s certainly not as sexy in the minds of taxpayers, perhaps, as paving roads or cutting taxes, but getting the county’s garbage system corrected should be a top priority.

At the moment, Adams County’s system is upside-down financially. In other words, the amount of fees brought in per household is less than what the county is charged by the outside contractor for those services.

The county is paying $16 per month per resident for the pick-up, but only charges residents $13. The county makes up the difference.

This subsidized system isn’t wise and should be fixed, but that’s just one of several things on the supervisors’ collective plate in the coming year.

This week, the county is looking at where the county’s garbage will be buried — in a landfill in Adams County or one in Jefferson County.

Make no bones about it, garbage may smell bad to us, but it smells like money to those vying for the chance to make a living off picking it up and burying it.

The money being sniffed is the hard-earned money of county residents, so supervisors need to use wisdom and care when making decisions that affect residents.

In the end, the best method for them to figure out the best path may be by asking a simple question: What’s best for John Q. Public?