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Letter: New cleanup fees criticized as unfair

There were probably a great number of people who were as shocked as I was at the change in the city's annual trash pick-up.

It would seem fairer to impose a fine on those who take advantage of this annual event rather than punish the whole city. Make the fine large enough so people think twice about abusing this privilege. The annual "free flea market" is fun for many people who search for that special something to refurbish and reuse.

I remember years ago when my parents would make a special trip to Worthington to look for "treasures" during the annual pickup. Last year, as we drove around town, there were several outlandish piles that were obviously from more than one household; there were also many items that should have been put in the normal trash pickup, usually strewn about the curb (most of it clothing). That's abuse. The city should not pick it up; the property owners should be fined and made to clean it up themselves.

If trash is unknowingly dumped on your property, call the police as soon as you notice. Of course, it's not possible to find out who was so devious and uncaring, but at least you've informed the city you were not the irresponsible party who did it. If you allow your friends and relatives to dump trash on your property, you should be forced to pay the fine. When there are several refrigerators or stoves, etc, lined up on your curb, it's obvious abuse of the system. No one has that many saved up for a year waiting to dispose of them.

I agree to limits on the big items, but not the fee. When I've had things that were totally useable but I did not want them, I would put them neatly in a box to the side of the trash. It seemed within minutes, they were gone. There are constantly passers-by looking for just such items. There are also places downtown who take donations of unwanted but useable items, and it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to drop them off.

It makes sense to put a limit to what types of trash are allowed; if there are small items that could have been disposed of elsewhere, the city doesn't have to pick them up. Some years, we have stored used furniture or carpeting or other items too large for the weekly pickup, and put them out in the spring. Now, I will think twice about having to pay the extra money to dispose of them.

Some years, we've had almost nothing to put on the curb, or maybe had one furniture item to get rid of -- now at a fee. If the city starts this fee process, I'll just bet they will find more junk thrown into ditches because someone didn't want to pay the $10. Will we then have another charge added for cleaning that up? 

The economy is making most of us struggle financially, and costs of everything continue to rise while paychecks shrink. We pay for stoplights, the school levy, street repairs, property taxes, city taxes, state taxes, federal taxes, increases in almost everything ... and now more is added for trash pickup when we're already paying for trash pickup. Why do we now have to pay extra for other people's stupidity? And, by the way, if you have the time to look through the "junk" on the curb, you also have the time to clean up what you've thrown around while looking.

There is always someone who makes things more difficult for other people. Worthington seems to have many who still turn their backs on respect after their Sunday church is over. Grrrr. Re-read the Commandments.