You want to pay more taxes?
Editor, The News:
Re: Time to catch up (Letters, Feb. 1).
We already have garbage pickup in Maple Ridge and we have control over what we spend.
I looked up one private company and the rate is $12.50 per month for one bag. That is $150 per year.
Share the cost of two bags with your neighbours ($18 a month) and your annual cost would be $108.
Do you honestly want to ask our government to find a cheaper solution?
The District brought forth a request to spend $85,000 just to review the options (The News, July 11).
What level of government has ever looked after tax payer’s dollars responsibly?
And you want to volunteer to give them more?
Please, just pick up the phone and order your garbage service.
$30 a year
Editor, The News:
Re: Same standard (Letters, Jan. 30).
Like L. Shapko, I, too, moved from Burnaby and had a different reaction to the garbage pickup, or lack of it.
I found Maple Ridge’s approach very enlightened, as it provides a real incentive to recycle: saving money.
Currently I have an arrangement with my neighbors and pay no more than $30 a year, at the most.
Prior to that, when I managed my own garbage, the most I paid was $120 a year, and that was not often, as I didn’t have to make a trip to the transfer station every month.
If we had municipal garbage collection in our taxes, then the good recyclers subsidize those who do not care to.
And seniors, many who have only one or two people in a residence and may be on fixed incomes, subsidize those who are more able to cope with inflationary costs.
Also, as more stringent regulations for tipping come in, our councillors will have to devote some of their time to playing ‘sheriff’ and looking for ways to make all Maple Ridge residents conform to new rules.
Then, too, with respect to municipal administration, we are always looking for ways to control costs. Once the district has garbage pickup as part of its responsibilities, then it will be limited to whatever tenders come forward for pricing, and you can bet that increases will keep coming, with no way for individuals to manage them.
The second point I would like to make is that, in my experience, unlike Maureen Bartels (Letters, Jan. 30), Maple Ridge’s streets are not messier than other communities.
I grant that north Burnaby, where L. Shapko was from, was far tidier than the neighborhoods around Metrotown.
However, take a look at some of the areas of Vancouver, Chilliwack and Mission.
Also, in some communities there is city cleanup of streets at certain times of the year, sometimes providing student employment.
In others you can see pride of ownership in neighborhoods and residents pickup after less considerate people, as we do in our neighborhood.
A third point is, what about all the garbage businesses that will be put out of business? What about their employees?
It is likely that the biggest company can provide the lowest rates and so will get the contract.
After all the other businesses are gone, where is the incentive to manage costs to the customers?
Also, the big company I am thinking of is headquartered in the United States, so where is the bulk of the corporate tax going to wind up, and the profits?
Probably not in Canada.
One more thing: how many residents in Maple Ridge have had to deal with a garbage strike?
If you want to see dirty streets, parks and other public places, plus unsanitary, health-threatening conditions, just put your garbage collection in the hand of a monopoly, any monopoly.
So in the debate on garbage collection, I side with Alan and Pat Woodland. They represent what was and is best about recycling in Maple Ridge – personal commitment and responsibility.
If Maple Ridge once gives up the current approach, it can never go back.
However, in summary, what I consider the real bright spot in this dialogue is that all the writers care about clean neighborhoods and protecting the environment.
It is just how we get there that is provoking debate.
A good problem to have, I think.
Editor, The News:
Re: Weekly garbage just a football (Letters, Jan. 30).
I moved to Maple Ridge in July and must say I was rather shocked to find out after the third week in July that the district does not have weekly garbage pick-up.
I realize that it would cost the taxpayers more on our taxes, but if it is lower than what it would cost for a private company, I would very much be in favour of that.
It is now 2013. We need to have our garbage picked up and disposed of properly.