Cape Girardeau officials are looking at several options for garbage collection, including hiring a contractor, turning over trash collection to private companies or investing in new trucks and bins that encourage recycling.
All of these options deserve a thorough review. Whatever the choice, any restructuring in trash hauling should result in service improvements without imposing additional costs.
One advantage of the plan for the city to provide separate trash bins for landfill waste and recyclables is that less trash would wind up in landfills and more would find its way to recycling. Currently, city residents participate in recycling on a voluntary basis.
The city also must consider some of the additional services it currently provides, such as leaf pickup in the fall and special curbside pickups of items too bulky for trash containers. Losing these options would be a blow to the level of services residents currently enjoy.
Demonstrations of the proposed city-operated automated system, with the new large bins at every household, are being set up. This will give city officials and residents an opportunity to see how these trucks work and how the bins might be stowed on days when there is no trash pickup.