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Trash problem tossed about

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By Cindy Simpson

Collecting for trash pickup is a difficult  endeavor for Harriman.
Waste Connections is picking up for residents that are not being billed or not making their payments — leaving the city to pay the difference.
City Treasurer Charles Kerley said the problem cost the city $121,000 last fiscal year.
“It is just $10,” City Councilman Buddy Holley said. “My gosh that is a bargain.”
That $10 allows residents to have up to four cans picked up once each week.
Holley brought up two possible solutions for consideration.
One is to charge for each residence and give people the option to opt out before beginning to collect.
The other is to do as some other municipalities and require  all residents to get municipal trash pickup.
“Kingston is not optional,” Holley said.
Kerley said the city has begun identifying and billing those who haven’t paid.
He told of one surprised woman who came in and said she had been getting her trash picked up for years. She wondered why the city had begun charging.
“Now she knows,” Kerley said.
He said he is leaning toward a mandatory pickup fee for all.
Holley said that having people put their street address on their cans would help trash collectors identify where they are supposed to pick up and where they aren’t.
Harriman Mayor Chris Mason asked if there is a way to charge landlords.
Holley said the city is looking at billing the property owners if it goes to a mandatory system.
Officials have said that with rental property, the landlord can pass that cost on to his renters in their rent.
Councilman Kenyon Mee discussed allowing landlords to opt out if their rental property is unoccupied.
He suggested looking at properties with utility meters only.