Sunday, October 20, 2019

They Make It Very Hard To Be a Good Citizen

Hazardous Waste Day: the Saga Continues. This story should have been dead yesterday but it is not.

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Let me explain.

Raj and I left for Hazardous Household Waste (HHW) collection day, which ran from 8:00 am till 2:00 pm,  at 7:55 am. The rear hatch of the Jeep was filled with toxic, hazardous waste materials: mostly stains, strippers and other oil based paint products, some half full 5 gallon pails of latex paint (I know, it can be dried and dumped but do you know how long it takes to dry a half-full pail?), old gasoline, toxic yard chemicals an old monitor and a motorcycle battery. We arrived at the downriver collection location – 29.5 miles from our house – at 8:23. The line was long, really, really long, backed up in both directions further than the eye could see on a busy 4 lane street with a left turn lane. We sat for an hour inching only a short distance in that time. And we were still not even within sight of the entrance to the junior college serving as the collection site. Whereas we had an appointment elsewhere at 10:30 we left at 9:55 when it became clear we wouldn’t even get to the head of line by then.  Roundtrip: 59 miles, total time invested, 2 hours.

Because I really wanted to get rid of this stuff in a responsible manner we returned towards the end of the day, thinking perhaps it wouldn’t be as busy. It wasn’t, but after another half hour drive we arrived back at the site at 1:15 pm to find a shorter but still very long line. OK, at least we could see the entrance from our place way way back in queue. As we inched forward we could see two uniformed officers at the traffic light where people were turning from both the right and left. They were doing…nothing. Not directing traffic, not even making sure that the cars turning right stayed in the right lane so there was somewhere for the cars turning left to go once the light changed and traffic cleared (no green turn arrow). As a result only one or two cars were getting through on each light.

But that’s hardly the worst of it. When we were just 3 cars from the head of the line (it is now 2:01 pm) the event organizers (Wayne County) drove a car across the entrance to the site and set up orange cones everywhere to block any additional entry. The guy who was next in line tried to persuade them to let him in, to no avail. It was 2:00 and that was the end of HHW collection day. Do I sound calm? Because I wasn’t. I was mad as a hatter. At the idiots running the event who couldn’t send someone out to place cones in the lane around 1:00 if they new they were shutting the gates at 2:00. At the officers who could have handled the traffic a whole lot better and especially at my township trustees.

When checking to find out when our local autumn HHW day was I discovered that our township board of trustees had decided not to participate in the waste collection days of our two adjacent communities as they always have in the past because it cost $36,000, an amount determined by the number of cars from our community that participated. Instead they decided it “wasn’t worth the cost” and would instead participate in the “free” county wide program. “Free” indeed. Our property taxes here are outrageous so please don’t tell me any of the government “services” provided are free.  And by the way, any “service” that you can’t actually avail yourself of isn’t really a “service.”

Having been to these events many times before I can, off the top of my head, can think of a dozen things they could have done to make this work more effectively. Not only isn’t it rocket science, it isn’t even science. But progressives would have us believe that more government can fix everything.

So allow me to recap: since our township trustees decided to save $36k out of their $48.5 million budget by dropping out of local HHW programs I ended up making two round trips for a total 118 miles only to be sent home with all my toxic wastes in tow. Including travel time and the waiting in line Raj and I both wasted 4 and a half hours of our life. And I’m sure there are school children somewhere crying over the carbon footprint my gas guzzling Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a Hemi made in the execution of that fool’s errand.

I should have known better, what made me think bureaucrats directed by politicians could run an efficient hazardous waste collection site? Idiots, they can’t even be trusted with water.

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I will locate someplace to dispose of my battery and gasoline, but where do you think the rest of this crap is going to end up? I’d really like to be a better person, but I’m not.

Related imageThis is where it would have ended up anyway.