I am narrow minded and self centered. Let me explain.
I received a note from my trash hauler that said the city council is considering new laws for trash collection. Currently the city, the second largest in the state of Minnesota is a free for all. The only stipulation I am aware of is that all the haulers have to serve the same neighborhoods on the same day so there are not trash trucks rumbling up and down the streets 5 days a week - this makes perfect sense. The city is open to competition and we have excellent choices and lower costs. I recently changed haulers and saw my bill drop by more than a 3rd. This is good, no?
Well, of course it's good for me. I am motivated by nothing more than cost. I can't say "boy that guy picks up the trash way better than the other guy".
So today I called my city councilman to voice my opinion about it. The first thing I asked was what problem were they trying to solve. To my surprise I got back some decent answers that made some sense.
- Multiple haulers going down the alleys that were not designed for that much load adds to repair costs for the city and property owners. Hmmm I don't have an alley.
- Efficiency for the hauler in that (after winning the bid for that particular district) they can condense their routes and save fuel. Hmmm not my fuel.
- The requirement that all properties have trash collection could be enforced when one hauler has all properties in a district - many don't and use the road ditches for their junk. Hmmm I have seen street garbage myself.
- A fair compromise?
- A logical step toward government takeover of trash collection?
- A solution looking for a problem?
- All of the above?
The lesson I guess is that when I look at something through the rose colored lens of my narrow world I can't possibly see the whole picture. In this case the city is not (currently) calling for municipal trash collection and will open up for bids from private companies district by district. I am still skeptical primarily because I see my costs going up!