Solid Waste Department: (478) 803-0499 • Ryland: (866) 898-4411

There are sure to be some noses out of joint when the full impact of the proposal to raise garbage fees to $20 a month countywide hits residents. The measure was approved by the Operations and Finance Committee 3-1 on Tuesday and will be heard by the full Macon-Bibb County Commission next week.

The dismay is understandable. Trash is a difficult subject to talk about. For former city residents it’s a 25 percent increase; for former unincorporated county residents it hits a bit harder — 36.25 percent. It won’t matter to local taxpayers that the $20 garbage fee is the same as Forsyth and Perry or $7.16 lower than Augusta-Richmond County. They will just see their rates going up and won’t care about the rhyme or reason.

And the reason, while pretty simple, will be difficult to sell. It’s all an effort to recycle more and put less trash in our soon-to-be closed landfill. Solid Waste Director Kevin Barkley has a chore on his hands. The recycling efforts countywide and particularly within the former city limits have been less than stellar over the past three decades. Educating the public about the benefits of recycling will be a key ingredient to any successful effort.

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