Merrimack is a conservative town. They vote nearly 100% Republican in all state and federal elections and show they oppose unnecessary spending time and time again in local town elections. So I find myself at a loss in following the debates regarding trash in Merrimack.
A few years ago the town voted to build a middleman transfer station. Now this I understand, the tax payers were fed what has now been proven to be out right lies that with a transfer station we'd save $1 million a year in taxes over the cost of town wide curbside.
The transfer station services anywhere from one third of the town to at best one half. And the budget for the transfer station is about equal to what the town would have spent for curbside servicing the entire town (including condos who currently see no benefit in the transfer station).
But all the debate on curbside vs the transfer station is behind us. We spent well over a million building the facility and are now saddled with it's burden.
This brings us to the new debate, who is paying for the costs associated with it.
Think about this...
If you have town sewer you pay per year for the use of that connection. If you have your own septic tank you do not pay for the service you don't use.
If you have town water you are metered and are charged based on how much water your home uses. If you have a private well you do not pay for the service you don't use.
Wouldn't it also make sense that the 1/3 to half of the town using the transfer station pay for the service themselves and the other half to 2/3 of town not be forced to pay for a service they don't want or use?
I would think this is common sense but when the option of pay as you throw comes up common sense seems to go right out the window. We continue to hear the same people who argue against over spending in government claiming that pay as you throw would be a double tax.
A double tax? Giving people a choice on whether or not they wish to pay for something and if they choose so having them pay for ALL the cost rather then pushing over half of it off on others is not a double tax. If that were the case then is Wal-Mart double taxing us since we are forced to pay for our own products?
Another added benefit of pay as you throw is you control your own cost. Just like with water the meters only charge you for what you use, if you use less you in turn pay less. So if you recycle a lot you're able to keep your costs down where as people who toss out 10 or more bags of trash a week are not passing their expenses off on the rest of us.
I fail to see how any conservative would be against this.
And for my liberal friends, by putting the cost entirely on those using the facility and getting them to see a direct savings by recycling vs just tossing everything in the trash it encourages recycling which is good for the environment.
It's a win win for everyone except those who want others to pay their way and don't care about the environment.