Trash is messy. It’s smelly and unsightly, and you always have to find a place to put it – be it the 13-gallon trash can hiding somewhere in the kitchen or the 200-acre landfill outside of town.
Now, there are ways to reduce household garbage. People can separate out the glass and plastic bottles, as well as the newspapers, magazines and junk mail, for recycling – whether you have curbside pick-up or you have to pack them in the car and take them to a county dump or other location to get rid of them yourself. It does require some effort on your part, and another bin or two in the house in which to keep recyclables.
And if none of that is bothersome and you want to reduce your household trash even further, you can save your food scraps for composting in the back yard. But of course, this has its own set of hurdles, the most pungent being the odor of food slowly rotting in a container somewhere in the kitchen until it gets transferred to the composter outside.
Of course, backyard composting is essentially free, but recycling typically isn’t, especially if it’s picked up from the curb with the rest of the trash.
Neither is solid waste removal, which, aside from actual expense of pick-up, comes with need for that 200-acre landfill outside town so there is a place to bury the garbage of hundreds of thousands of homes. And as Coastal Georgia continues to grow, so does the need for places to put the garbage that comes along with so many new homes and businesses.
Some people may not agree with having to pay for curbside recycling pick-up, as was made evident in recent Letters to the Editor. But it’s probably safe to say that many more people disagree with having a landfill next to or near their homes, as was made evident at a recent community meeting in Black Creek. However, the fact remains that our trash has to go somewhere. If it’s not in our backyard, it’s going to be in someone else’s.
We at the Bryan County News don’t know whether the 268 acres in Black Creek is an appropriate place for a landfill. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But it seems clear there is only one real way to prevent landfills from being built in anyone’s backyard – and that is to simply reduce the need for them.
At a time when the cost of just about everything else is on the rise, it can seem insensitive to add $35 a year for county services all residents may not want to use. But even with that price tag, the county’s new recycling program seems like a worthy cause if it can help keep a new landfill out of anyone’s backyard, rural landscape or water supply.