Wintersteen: now is the time for TPV single-hauler trash service!

I’ve been privileged to live here in Paradise Valley for over 20 years, and very happy with a lot of things — the appearance of the town, of course, and the limited but effective (and frugal) government we enjoy as residents.

John Wintersteen

So, when the topic of having the town choose a single trash hauler arose, my first thought was “here we go again.” I’ve seen a lot of effort — and emotion — expended on this topic about four times since I moved to Paradise Valley in the summer of 1995.

My second thought was, “Oh, well, just another exercise in futility” because I know that many of my fellow residents have a connection, even an affection, for their own trash hauler and won’t want some other trash hauler.

My third thought was, “let’s just get this done, this time!” Nothing is forever, especially in government, but let’s make the change and then make adjustments if needed.

I believe changing to a single trash hauler will be beneficial enough on its own; that after a year, the vast majority of my fellow residents will be satisfied, and some will be glad the change was made. But yes, I know some of my friends and neighbors won’t be satisfied with anything but their present trash hauler – “greatest good for the largest number” applies.

Here’s what I know:

  • The town staff and town manager have done a credible job of getting the proposals, and the one they’ve recommended looks good – no need to expend more effort, but just to go forward as recommended.
  • The cost per home of $17 per month for one pickup of one trash can and one recycling can weekly looks even better – I only need to take my full trash can to the curb once a month, but when I’ve a lot of stuff to dispose of, it’s good to have another pickup in a week. I know some of my neighbors and friends need more trash pickup, and that looks like a good price at $5 per extra per month for a second can and $10 extra per month for a second day of pickup. Personally, I don’t want to continue to pay for trash pickup I never need and never use.
  • It’s always looked to me to be a waste to have so many trash trucks on the streets four days a week, covering the same ground, causing unnecessary pollution and wear on our streets. I live on Lincoln Drive, so I’ll not notice the change personally, but the idea of so many extra trips by trash trucks does bother me as a resident.
  • From what I’ve seen, the proposal is fair to the “special cases” such as home owner associations which have negotiated lower rates than I’ve been paying – they’re grandfathered.
  • Also, as a retired police chief of our town, I appreciate having the extra “eyes and ears” of professional drivers who take it as their duty to be watchful, and to report crimes and other problems to our police.
  • Fountain Hills changed a few years ago for many of the same reasons I see, and people there appear to be happy with having a single hauler.

Now is the time!

In the past, during prior discussions over single hauler trash service, as a supporter of small government, I was originally ambivalent.

I wasn’t sure I wanted our own local government to take over more responsibility for new functions, including consolidating into a single trash hauler.

Now, with the good steps the town council took last year to require lower pollution vehicles and to restrict pickup days to four a week, it’s time for our mayor and town council to complete the process by contracting with Republic Services as our single hauler.

Editor’s note: Mr. Wintersteen is a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley and former Paradise Valley chief of police

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