If Belleville is interested in cleaning house, it is going to take more than another $2 a month on trash bills.
The Belleville City Council on Monday raised trash fees to $20 a month and $15 for seniors. That is $2 more for regular service and $1 more for seniors.
Alderman Raffi Ovian argued the hike should have been $3 a month because most of the city’s trash trucks are, well, trashed.
“We have immediate need for six trucks, four of which are critical,” Ovian said. He said city leaders were “not telling the people the truth.”
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Maybe the solution is not higher trash fees. Maybe the city should get out of the trash business and negotiate with a waste company for service.
Better yet, contract with Mascoutah’s city leaders to do the negotiating. They got a deal for residents that is more than $5 a month less than Belleville’s service — $14.23 — and that includes recycling every two weeks.
Better, better yet, adopt Swansea’s model. Free recycling, $4 per can. That encourages recycling and lets those who generate just a little trash — such as empty nesters or seniors — potentially put out a can every two weeks at a monthly cost of $8.
But the reality is Belleville’s trash collection gives local politicians another 16 jobs and $3.3 million in spending to control. A little extra power is worth a little extra smell.