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Words From Wiser: Talking Trash

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When I was approached to provide writings to the Wellsville Sun, it was suggested that I could bring not only some of my poetry, but also some news, information, or opinions from a Scio resident. Last week was poem week, so this week’s topic started out based on a recurring complaint over trash pickup or disposal.

A few years ago, Allegany County opened several Trash/Garbage/Recyclables Transfer Stations and charged a $10 Annual fee for the service of dropping your trash and recyclables off at your local site. Over the years the fee has increased, seemingly lately, at an exponential rate with the current annual fee having increased to $250. Not widely publicized, as far as I have noticed, but you can take your recyclables only, to the transfer station at no cost, not requiring a tag. If memory serves me, at one time, you could get the tag for “recyclables only” but that is no longer the practice. You don’t need the tag.

When talking to a county employee at the transfer station and offering my annual complaints over having to take my own trash to the transfer station, I pointed out that many other towns nearby to Scio had Town or Village trash pickup provided for them, and the cost included in their local taxes. The attendant replied that “only a couple of towns do that”. Having personally witnessed garbage pickup in “several” towns I decided to do a little checking.

A short survey, keeping it limited to those towns/villages in closest proximity to me, yielded the following results: Alfred, Belmont, Cuba, Friendship, and the Village of Wellsville all provide trash pickup, not all of which require sorting trash vs recyclables. Almond, Bolivar, and Scio do not provide this service.

My initial thought and thus complaint, rationalized in my mind, that other localities had similar taxes as Scio, but yet were able to provide this service. Why couldn’t Scio?

Given a night to sleep on it, my somewhat notorious awakening at 4 AM due to a mind too busily active to sleep, gave me a little different, more positive perspective. Scio no longer has a local Industry with the closing of its only major manufacturing facility. I’m not aware of its tax ramifications, but that did not dampen my enlightened approach to transcend my complaint into a positive, constructive point of view. Why couldn’t Scio negotiate some kind of agreement with another locality, which is likely only using their garbage pickup equipment one or two days a week. “Shared services” has been a political talking point for quite some time now, so why couldn’t this be one of them?

Given this new perspective, my inquiries and outreach to other municipalities revealed that two, to my knowledge, do have contractual arrangements. The village of Wellsville contracts with LaForge and adds the cost to the resident’s tax bill. The cost to the taxpayer is less than $200, and, they don’t have to sort, pack and transport their waste or recyclables to the transfer station. Cuba has an arrangement with Friendship, using their equipment for their trash pickup. I did not ascertain if it was equipment only or personnel as well, but that is not germane to my point or suggestion.

Note to Scio politicians…What do you think?

Chuck Wiser, June 17, 2021

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