OUR VIEW: Like it or not, the sanitation change is here. Give it a chance.

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, July 5, 2023

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With the county officially turning over unincorporated residential sanitation services to Martin Environmental Services on Saturday, a new page has turned on local garbage collection.

It’s clear that many county residents are still unhappy with the change, but rightly or wrongly the change is here. 

Countless rural citizens have voiced complete opposition to the change both in Board of Commissioner’s meetings and even more frequently on social media. We’re not here to defend either the county or Martin, but we do ask that you give the change a chance, even if it isn’t what you wanted.

Understandably, many unincorporated residents are upset that the change is not only something they don’t want but also might cost them more. 

The reality is that county residents were going to see a large increase to dispose of their garbage either way, whether on their tax bill or having to pay directly to do so. 

Admittedly for many, paying $30 per month for curbside pickup or a subscription to use the four remaining convenience centers will be more annually than their sanitation millage would have cost, particularly if your property taxes were already on the lower end. 

But the pay-as-you-throw rate of $10 per 95-gallon container may provide an opportunity to save if your household can limit its garbage output.

Like it or not, the days of dropping off endless amounts of trash at convenience centers for free are over.

There are obviously going to be hiccups and problems with the changeover at it starts. CEO Brandon Hurst has repeatedly said he would do his best to work with customers to make the transition as easy as possible.

Going from 12 convenience centers down to four, there will be days when there is a wait to drop off your garbage. There will also likely be days where your pickup is missed as drivers learn routes and customers forget to bring their carts to the road.

But for many, the change will be a godsend. Hurst has reported that many elderly and disabled customers were thrilled with the opportunity to get backdoor trash pickup service at their homes at no extra cost.

All we ask is that you give it a chance. Let Martin show you if they can run the convenience centers efficiently if you are dead set on dropping off your trash. Or maybe, just maybe, having curbside pickup will be more convenient than you think.