Letter: Residents shouldn’t be charged for wanting smaller recycle bins

To the editor:

In a previous letter, I noted that the new 96-gallon recycling “haulers” were much too oversized to replace the previous 18-gallon “totes” used for recycling in Greenwood.

For many of us, the monster hauler will not fit inside our garages with vehicles parked inside. A follow-up letter by Margaret Patton (March 25-26) highlighted “a problem for many citizens to handle. Consider the elderly and handicapped.”

A company that supplies these containers to municipalities states: “Carts are available in 32-, 48-, 64- and 96-gallon capacities. Seniors and individuals with physical impairments often prefer to use a 48-gallon “half cart” to keep weight to a minimum.” Note that a 96-gallon “hauler” is typically 28 inches wide by 34 inches deep by 43 to 46 inches high.

An article in the Daily Journal indicated that Greenwood sanitation would be offering a smaller 64-gallon “hauler” for a fee of $65 for those citizens who wish to purchase and own one. So, why does Greenwood want to penalize senior citizens, singles, couples and others who generate lesser quantities of recyclables and (in the near future) garbage?

We make a smaller environmental impact, don’t fill up the refuse trucks as quickly, generate lower tipping fees for the hauler and city, etc. So, being better environmental stewards, we are penalized by having to purchase a “hauler” that we get to “own.” (Just what I always wanted.)

And, to add insult to injury, the 65-gallon size is not significantly smaller (to fit in the garage) or lighter. The 64-gallon “hauler” is typically 24 inches wide by 32 inches deep by 42 inches high.

Remember that Greenwood will soon move its refuse collection to the “haulers,” so we will need to use two of these monsters. Other communities in Indiana and throughout the country offer 36 or 48-gallon “toters.” I, and many others, believe that either of these sizes would better fit the needs of seniors and others who generate less and have limited space for indoor storage. We also believe that they should be offered at no additional cost since we already pay a fairly substantial monthly fee for sanitation services.

Can the appropriate officials in Greenwood solicit input from their citizens on this matter then reopen negotiations with Best Way? Or is it time to look for more responsive city officials and a new company to provide the refuse and recycling services that best meet the needs of the citizens of Greenwood?

Charles W. Schmedlap