It seems some in our community, both residents and elected officials, are passionate about trash. It is interesting how certain issues generate such passion.

It seems some in our community, both residents and elected officials, are passionate about trash. It is interesting how certain issues generate such passion. The topic of discussion at the most recent City Council meeting is trash hauling in Blue Springs. Should it be managed by the city or left to the individual?

Trash disposal issues have come up before. In 2008, the city reviewed a trash transfer station in an industrial area on the north side of town. Passionate citizen discussion followed, and ultimately the project went away.

The city surveys the citizens, usually about once per year, to help the council set policy direction on a variety of issues. In the last survey the question was asked “How supportive would you be of having your city coordinate your residential trash and recycling services?” Seventy-three percent of respondents were supportive while only 10 percent were not supportive. When a survey shows that level of support, it is important for our council to further examine the issue and consider how best to respond.

Appropriately, the city’s Solid Waste Management Commission began studying the issue and made a preliminary presentation to the council last week. Councilman Fowler, who serves as council liaison on the commission, seemed out of sync with the report of the commission and, in a public e-mail to the rest of the council, seemed unsupportive of the commission’s work. In fact, Mayor Ross even reminded Fowler of his role on the commission. Fowler expressed concern that trash haulers would be put out of business if the commission’s initial recommendations were adopted.

Some areas of our city have already consolidated control of trash hauling. For example, the Sherwood Village homeowners association made the decision several years ago to manage the contracting of trash pickup, periodically bidding the contract to local trash companies.

No one knows the commission’s final recommendation, but it is important for everyone to keep an open mind, allowing the commission to complete its study, with public input. By law, our council members should not predetermine their response to this issue. It will be interesting to watch our mayor and council, both new members and those more experienced, as they examine the issue, seek residents’ input and reach a consensus. If you have an opinion on this or any issue affecting our community, please contact your City Council representatives. You can find their contact information at http://bit.ly/bscouncil.