Hillsboro residents may notice an usual notation at the bottom of the city’s January utility bill, right below the annual reminder about dog-tag renewal:
There have been complaints
of some folks putting trash in their neighbor’s bin. Certainly
we can be better neighbors.
The notation was City Administrator Larry Paine’s way of alerting residents that sneaking trash into someone else’s bin has no practical benefit for the sneaker—unless, of course, irritating that person is the objective.
The practice isn’t illegal, Paine said, but if trash-sneakers see it as a way to avoid paying city trash-collection fees, well, forget about it.
“Everybody in town is charged a collection fee regardless,” he said. “We basically charge for a cubic yard of trash every week, and it doesn’t make sense to fill up somebody else’s garbage can.”
Paine said he finds the practice humorous, in the odd sense.
“That sort of thing is kind of bizarre because they think somebody else is paying for it,” he said. “The stupid part about it is that these people—and we know who they are—also pay for garbage collection. It’s like, why are we doing this?”
Paine said so far as he knows, the practice isn’t widespread. He also knows it isn’t limited to residential neighborhoods.
“Our business district has Dumpsters, and we’ve got people coming in and dumping garbage in those thing all the time,” he said. “The business has those large Dumpsters for a reason: They have lots of stuff they go through every week. When somebody else contributes to it, it makes their life more difficult.”
While he was on the topic, Paine said if someone occasionally has more than a cubic yard of trash, or has appliances to dispose, the city is prepared to assist.
“(City trash superintendent) Kenny Carlson is very response to that,” Paine said. “When somebody has an extra load like that, we’ll go out and pick it up. Sometimes a load requires an extra charge, which will we do. But at the same time, it’s not like we won’t pick it up. We will.
“We’ve got rules for tires, concrete, construction debris, white goods like water heaters and washer and dryers and stoves and freezers and refrigerators. But we’ve got a way to get rid of those things.
“It’s not all that difficult.”