Thursday, November 08, 2007

Even more trash talk in Lorain

The phone rang today.
It was Helen Goldberg, a 90-year-old resident of Lorain's 1st Ward who calls me occasionally.
"I have a good idea for a story," she said.
"Write about what's going on with the trash pickup in Lorain."
We have been writing that story for a long time now and yet sharp-as-a-tack loyal reader Helen has looked right over it -- or has not understood a word we have written.
Chuck Camera, street supervisor, told me after I talked to Helen yesterday that it isn't a fair program for Lorain, the city with a lot of renters (landlords evict them and pile all their belongings in the street) and streets lined with parked cars (so the automated arms on the garbage cans can't get at the bins).
He estimated that of the 22,000 households in Lorain, only 13,000 to 16,000 pay to have their trash picked up.
What about the other 6,000 to 9,000 people?
They either live in apartments and use the apartment Dumpsters or they throw it anywhere they can find -- including the middle of the street, Chuck said.
After I taked to Chuck, I asked our courts and county reporter, Brad Dicken, to write a trash story explaining what's going on but with a bit more of a human angle.
"Talk to the people," I said, "not just the bureaucrats."
Brad told me that the pilot program Lorain is being asked to join is for only two years and 900 households.
After those two years, Lorain can keep doing what it's doing, convert the whole city to the new program or dump the program all together.
If it dumps the program all together, its grant money from the Lorain County Solid Waste Commission would drop minimally (from $250,000 to $225,000), Brad told me.
So, I think that's a small price to pay for a greener planet.
Well, at least a greener county.

(By the way, if you don't understand what's going on either, you're in good company. Lorain Mayor-elect Tony Krasienko was quoted in our story today as saying, "We still never got a complete answer on everything. It's still a little fuzzy.")

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