Dear Editorial Board (or whoever it is writing the unsigned editorials),

You know that feeling you get when someone scratches their fingernails across a blackboard? That’s exactly the feeling I get every time someone asserts that our trash is picked up for free and that it would be only fair to start charging for that pick-up.

Our trash most certainly is not picked up for free. I also don’t drive for free on paved roads. If I have a fire and the fire truck shows up at my door, it’s not free. If I check out a library book, that’s not free either. The lawn at my neighborhood park isn’t trimmed for free and my street isn’t swept for free.

These things are all paid for out of the taxes that I already pay. They aren’t free. I am paying for them.

Then there’s this whole business of “fairness.” The argument goes like this … people who live in single-family homes pay once (through their taxes) to have their trash picked up. People who live in condominiums or apartments pay a second time because they contract with a private trash company rather than putting their trash out on the street. So apparently because some people pay once and some people pay twice, we are going to make the whole system much more fair by requiring everyone to pay twice.

This notion of attaching a fee to trash collection is nothing more than a mechanism for the imposition of an additional tax. It has nothing to do with “free” or “fair.”

April Boling

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