Few dollars small price to pay to clean county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What can you get for $1 per month? Well, Lawrence Countians may soon be able to get a cleaner community and more environmentally friendly programs.

The Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District may soon ask property owners with developed land (homes, structures or businesses) to pay $12 per year, a buck a month, to fund a waste management plan that would provide increased resources for recycling and the three "Es" - education, enforcement and elimination of illegal dumping.

If making our county a more beautiful place to live, work and play only costs an extra $1, then sign us up right now. But property owners and taxpayers will have to hold the district's feet to the fire to make sure we are getting our money's worth.

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The Environmental Protection Agency mandates that each district have a waste management plan, but the government does not provide funding for the plan. The two counties were at a loss for resources until a law passed in April that now allows waste management districts to collect parcel assessments to implement waste management plans.

Solid waste officials called this option only a last resort, one that is being used already by 49 of the 52 waste management districts in Ohio.

The plan, which will have to be approved by both the Lawrence and Scioto county commissioners, would generate approximately $600,000 from the 19,646 improved parcels in Lawrence County and 30,359 parcel in Scioto County.

The pool of money created would be used to fund projects in each county on an as-needed basis.

But this fee system does not answer all the needs for our county. Truly it will be a temporary solution because inflation will eventually catch up with the fixed amount of money it would generate.

Lasting change starts with each of us. Residents must still decrease the amount of waste going to landfills, stop dumping trash in our beautiful landscapes and increase recycling efforts.

Maybe the plan should include ways for the county to profit from recycling or ways to reward businesses and individuals that recycle.

So, $12 may be a small price to pay to clean up the county, keeping it clean for future generations by changing our habits will be priceless.