Dear Commissioner Richardson,

After reading the article about bad trash pickup in Cobb (sluggish service, unreasonable price hikes, no pickups), you are limited to your solutions. It said that in 1999 there were 60 Cobb trash haulers and by 2019 there were 20. In Cobb, politicians’ solutions are limited to free market solutions or minimal oversight.

Many older Cobb citizens can remember regular on-time pickups, affordable prices, and politicians who are responsive to complaints. Then a bunch of entrepreneurs decided they could make a buck by taking trash hauling away from city and county government. They claimed that private companies are superior (without offering evidence) to local governments supplying the same service.

The down side of municipal garbage pickup is the expectation that elected officials will respond to time-consuming citizen requests. Private trash haulers don’t have to answer the phone, tell the truth, or respond to complaints. Going back to an old-fashioned method that works will be criticized by some citizens who prefer political orthodoxy over efficient government operation.

Commissioner Richardson, I wish you luck. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing and all those trash haulers make campaign contributions and take politicians out to lunch or to football games.

Mike Holzknecht



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