Seeking advise on pigs (the human kind)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
I'm the Chairman of a local citizens' advisory committee in Oregon. We've lately been trying to find a practical solution to a growing problem in our area: GARBAGE.
The biggest issue is illegal trash dumping. Ever since the local dump had to raise fees in an attempt to monitor/clean up the underlying groundwater, there has been a veritable explosion of trash dumping. This takes place on vacant land, Forest Service land, Bureau of Land Management land, and along public roads.
Some of this trash is merely unsightly. Some is a true health hazard. One resident a couple of miles up the road from here has a pile of garbage in front of his mobile home which has grown so large that it has rendered the mobile home invisible from the road! This has resulted in lots of flies, yellow jackets, and rats infesting his neighbors, or so they have told me.
I am wondering if any of you folks have had similar experiences, and how you have dealt with it.
My group has talked to the county commissioners, the county health department, and state DEQ. We've met a lot of disinterest in the problem, for the most part, although our commissioners asked if we'd be willing to be part of a "citizens' study committee" to come up with potential solutions. This suggestion may or may not be a way tfor the commissioners to postpone taking any action. Not sure.
Some ideas we've come up with so far: make people clean up their dumps, plus pay a fine for illegal dumping on others' property, enforceable if there is evidence of whose garbage it is.
Require people who do "yard cleanup" to take out a permit, and show proof that the garbage has actually been taken to the dump, rather than dumped on the side of the road.
Free garbage pickup throughout the county, payed for by taxes. It seems, intuitively, that it would be cheaper for a large truck to carry lots of people's garbage to the dump, than for all of us to drive a single load to the dump in separate vehicles. Also, this would force scofflaws to pay for disposing of their garbage, so that maybe they'd avoid dumping it off the side of the road.
I wonder if anyone's county or other rural area has publicly funded trash pickup, how much it costs, and how well it's worked for you.
Currently, it costs over fifty bucks to dump a single small pickup load of household trash at the "sanitary land fill". It's not surprising that folks who are short on cash act on the temptation to save the money by illegal dumping, unfortunately.
I appreciate any suggestions y'all have. I realize that a lot of folks think that ANY government program is bad; I'm not exactly big on government intrusion either, but I'm stumped otherwise.
-- joj (email@example.com), April 17, 2002
Sounds as if the public dump being into usury is the problem. Who in his right mind would pay $50 for a pick-up load of trash? Here in very rural AL, it costs $5 to use the public dump..if a property owner has heaps of offal on his property, the Public health Dept does its' job and declares the site a health hazard, period..no problemo for the rest of the taxpayers...is your county trying perhaps to reinvent the wheel? Why not put pressure where it belongs...... on the dumb site management to either become more efficient at less cost, or have an additional site, and stress that the Public health dept handle individual complaints as they occur? Public dumping here is "managed" by installing cameras alongside the rural roads monitored by Big Brother Sherrif....the cameras often get shotgunned mysteriously...I LOVE the South.!
-- lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2002.
Hi, Lesley, how did you folks get away from interference by the EPA? It's not the county's fault that the dump costs so much; they were forced to install a bunch of monitoring wells, and cleanup equipment to deal with the leachate from the dump, which entered the groundwater. I suspect that the EPA is making the rounds, and will reach your area sooner or later.
I think the dump costs will only go up, as the dump just closed a few months ago. Now, in its place is a "transfer station." So the trash has to be handled twice, and hauled forty odd miles to the dump in the next county. Their dump will be closing fairly soon, as well. Pretty soon, we'll be shipping the trash down the Rogue River, thence to Alabama, where you folks can deal with it !
Interestingly enough, one suggestion I've heard is to get the Sheriff, who has all sorts of spy cameras they use to try to catch pot farmers in the summer, to set up the spy cameras at popular illegal dump sites.
-- joj (email@example.com), April 17, 2002.
Sorry for the Freudian typo there..I meant to type "dump" and typed "dumb" DUH..As in many things, the EPA isn't aware of Alabama yet..I think those in FED gov who have heard of it are afraid....LOL.I still say that with all the modern techkie things available there must be a cost effective manner somewhere..my youngest son's fiance is in her Junior year of Engineering with major in water purification..I'm gong to ask her what is new in the proverbial zoo.....
-- lesley (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2002.
Well it sounds like your getting to be like us here in Michigan. We were told that the land fills are running out of room so we better start recycling and then they bring garbage in from Toronto,while we take our cute little green,blue,yellow containers down to our street.
We have the same problem here as to tons of junk and garbage left in state recreation areas and down dirt roads. Some of it has been taken care of by the local scout troops,churches,businesses,etc. who have kind of adopted parts of the woods and stuff and once a year hold a junk rally and clean the areas up.
We also have just pass a clean ordinace that pertains to homeowners, if cited your get a warning letter stating you have 30 days to clean the mess up,if not then the city,county will come and do it and the charge is $100 plus what man hrs are put in doing it. If you don't pay within 6 months, then they put a lien on your property.
All this brings you back to the question, Why has Government grown? Because we can't control ourselves,so government has had to step in to control us.
-- TomK(mich) (Tjk@cac.net), April 17, 2002.
In our little corner of Virginia we have a private individual that runs the garbage pickup for 12 bucks a month. We can burn all of our paper and cardboard containers in burn barrels. Our landfill (which is only a semi truck which we haul over to Roanoke county) is free to all craig county residents. You see, we don't need government controls, Tom--we handle all of our own problems !
-- Joel Rosen (JoelnBecky@webtv.net), April 17, 2002.
It costs me about $4.50 to dump a pick-up load at our local land fill. This is a really fancy place with gardens and fountains (to keep the dust down) and a covered area where I drive in and tip the stuff into a nice clean concrete trench. There are city employees there who will help me unload if I need it. They also accept whiteware, batteries, used oil and old steel (including old cars) etc for recycling.
One section takes green waste and produces huge quantities of compost.
There are methane wells sunk into the older landfill areas but I am not sure if any use is being made of the gas yet.
If I like I can stop at the 'second chance saloon' where stuff otherwise destined for the landfill is for sale at very moderate prices, this is a great place for bits of building material and unwanted bicycles, toys etc.
We often joke about 'going to the dump for a picnic'!
Tell your landfill operators to stop being greedy and to get smart instead.
-- john hill (email@example.com), April 17, 2002.
The first "problem" is your using a landfil situation. The first step might be to set-up a recycling center. We pay $158 yearly to support our county's. Only residents of our county can use it. Some just bag it and dump in the bin's. I'd say about 58% actually separate plastic, glass and metals. Illeagle dumping nets you a $100 fine and/or 3 days community service. (usually picking up trash off the highways)
Out here in the country we deal a bit more harshly with litterers. A older neighbor of ours filled a tail gate with buck shot a few months back. Since then this 2 mile stretch of backroads has been clean.
Guberment involvement is not always necessary, However if your community is not united in any way then I guess some involvement may be necessary. Sad but true is the fact that people respond better to threat and punishment than gain and incentive.
Keep us up to date on your success.
-- Kenneth in N.C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2002.
Thanks, everyone; I'm going to be printing up all the responses (at three forums, actually) for perusal by my group.
We do have recycling, btw, but only of some items. The recycling centers seem to be well used, but it is rumored that a lot of the recycled stuff is actually just hauled to the dump.
I would love to see some move to reuse more containers, like in canning jars or something, instead of all the throw away packaging.
-- joj (email@example.com), April 18, 2002.
Hey Joel, the government just called and said they haven't forgot about Virginny it's just that their saving the best for last. LOL!!!
-- TomK(mich) (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2002.
Our landfill is free if you take it yourself and once a year the town has free spring clean up week. Anything put at curbside is picked up and hauled off. The next week the cops run around giving out tickets for trashy looking yards!
-- kim in CO (email@example.com), April 18, 2002.
joj, speaking of canning jars: a few years back you could re-use Kraft mayo and Miracle Whip jars for canning. They started making them just a little bit smaller so the canning lids wouldn't fit. I called their 800 # and asked why. The lady on the other end said it was because they didn't want as much glass in the landfills. I use lots of those old jars for canning and still find some at yard sales. Sure would be nice to be able to use the newer one.
-- Cindy (S.E.IN) (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2002.
A better idea of your area is like may give even the government haters a chance to offer an answer.
For example, I live in a very rural dairy farming area which means...
If it burns, its gone. No need for a landfill. I set aside nonrecyclable plastics and wood shnibbles for incinerating diapers and other difficult burners. There isnt really any good reason for us not to. Are you in the middle of a national forest or something that keeps folks from pursuing that?
Food garbage (the source of the rats and flies above) is just put into the chickens or pigs. Some of my friends even save theirs and bring theirs by because damp food scraps and rinds are so hard to burn that its easier to swing by my house with a bucket. No Im not suggesting a mandatory pig feeding program. What Im asking is, is there a cultural reason that these folks dont have normal rural food disposal methods? (animals, compost, garden, etc)
That only leaves metal and glass. I save "good stuff" from both of these catagories (which might create piles or sheds that are unacceptable in an afluent area?). The metal gets taken to the junk yard every few months for him to resell. The junk glass is the only real disposal "problem" so our town has a recycle bin. Is there a problem with local availability of these resources or something else that keeps people from disposing of things?
The only version of your problem that we have is the junk glass. The recycler that the town has contracted with is so strict about the glass (labels removed, cant be broken, washed and scrubbed, etc) that some just find it too much hassle and then it winds up in field corners, other peoples lawns, where ever it falls. If you do need to find a glass recycler, keep in mind that his requirements for providing a dumpster may not clear up the problem.
There is a garbage company that each household can contract with for my area. They provide the big wheeled type of trash cans and recycle bins for a "reasonable" fee. They whip around the countryside once a week in their robot trucks and pick everything up about the same time that the dairymen are getting out of bed so the trucks dont cause any noise, smell, or "unsightly" problems for the community. The only drawback here, besides the obvious monetary, is that the large cans set out the night before make great "deathrace derby" victims for drunk kids in their pickups...
-- William in WI (email@example.com), April 19, 2002.
There are things that should be burned (like noxious weeds, according to some experts because composting does not kill them), and some that can be burned without harming the environment too much (like food wrappers), but disposable diapers and plastics do not fall into that category. Maybe you can't smell all the pollutants, but they go into the atmosphere just the same. Better not to use disposables, cloth will decompose eventually.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2002.
Would it be possible to set up a pick up spot for garbage every couple of miles and then arrange for it to be picked up once a week? It could be handled privately by a couple of folks with trailers and a pick up truck for just a couple of dollars per household.
Otherwise, I think people have covered every other aspect. Here I take my non bunables to the shop and toss it. They have canceled recycling as eveidently not enough people were giving their aluminum cans, so I recycle as much as I can into use.
If I remember correctly you are really dry in summer up there so burning mightt not be an answer for much of the year. Let us know how it works out.
-- Doreen (email@example.com), April 21, 2002.
"disposable diapers and plastics do not fall into that category"
I understand the concern but landfills are not an acceptable alternative. Human waste in diapers dumped in landfills is an immediate health hazard threatening plagues the likes of which we havent seen since the middle ages. I wont have any part of that. Burying plastics is just centralizing the poisons that they are made of or contain and isnt a better solution to burning. Recycling plastics is looking to me to be a poor solution also as the poisons that are in the plastics and were in the containers are carrying into the recycled product (for example, You have read about the birth defects to the offspring of those who drink from hoses linked to recycled chemicals in garden hoses?). Until someone comes up with a more friendly product than plastic, Ill continue to burn it.
I personnally would like to use cloth as they are cheaper and in my opinion better for the baby but my wife comes from disposo-world and will not hear elsewise. If I used cloth she would just use plastic when the babies are whith her, I still have diapers to dispose of.
Its great to stand on principle but until we get to the point where everyone agrees to that principle, we have the real world to deal with. The yuppies in and about Joes community arent going to use cloth because you and I think that they should and he needs a solution now.
-- William in WI (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 22, 2002.
I use cloth, and don't see why other people don't, unless they've been brainwashed that cloth is more hassle than plastic. It isn't. And lots of yuppies use cloth too, I always see more of the lower economic spectrum using disposables. Maybe education? There was an article in the Health section of Yahoo about Latin women having more routine C- sections because they perceived it to be a better level of care. Education was cited as a reason for this.
Burning just releases the stuff into the air with no guarantee that the pathogens aren't still active (no home burn is going to get as hot as a proper commercial incinerator)--at least washing the human waste out of the diapers gives the septic system a natural chance to decompose the waste, and we know that works. I'd be a lot more worried about the stuff you and your family are inhaling from the burning. You can't smell the pollutants, but they're there nonetheless. I do sympathize with you on the spouse issue, although even if you used cloth only half the time, you're still making a difference :-)
I never heard of the garden hose/birth defect connection, but then I never knew anyone who regularly (or even occasionally) drank from a garden hose either.
-- GT (email@example.com), April 23, 2002.
If I recall JOJ's area correctly, they are not overrun with yuppies by any stretch of the imagination. If they were, there would have been mandatory garbage pick-up long ago, along with all sorts of other city- type rules and regs.
-- GT (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2002.
I though Oregon had laws that didn't allow the sale of disposable diapers,nor did they allow them in the landfills.
-- SM Steve (email@example.com), April 24, 2002.