There aren’t many easy calls to make when it comes to local governance.
Budgets have to balance community needs with tax realities, and the fact that each resident has a different priority as to what kind of “bang” they want to get for their buck. Schools are always trying to figure out what is needed as opposed to what is wanted for everything from equipment to curriculum choices, and the lines between the two can often become very blurred.
But sometimes, there are easy decisions to be made. Sometimes there are “no-brainers” regarding the services to be offered in town, and bulky waste would seem to be an obvious “no-brainer.”
For obvious reasons, bulky waste is one of the more popular Cheshire offerings, providing residents the chance to rid themselves of big-ticket items that are often difficult to dispose of. It’s one thing to stack weekly trash on the curb for pickup by waste management teams, but it’s quite another when one has an entire bookcase or washer and dryer to discard.
Whenever Cheshire sets a time and date for bulky waste pickup, the streets become littered with household appliances and furniture, allowing some astute “hunters” the time to see if one man’s trash could become another’s treasure.
Yet, while the town’s favorite pickup never comes at a bad time, 2021 would seem to offer as good a time as ever to once again provide the service.
The COVID-19 pandemic sent most people into their homes for more than a year, trading weekday commutes in the car for workday afternoons spent at the kitchen or living room table. With the usual entertainments either canceled or severely hampered, people looked inwards, specifically to their homes.
That meant some home projects that had been put off for years suddenly became a priority. It also meant a lot of purging and replacing.
As residents looked around their homes, they found appliances that needed upgrading or clutter that needed attending to. It’s left almost everyone with some big, bulky items that have been moved from the bedroom or dining room to the garage and, eventually, to the dump.
Last weekend, a local resident organized a community-wide tag sale, one she hopes will become a tradition in Cheshire. Now, Joann Monroe insisted, was the perfect time for such an event because of the number of people who would be looking to clear their houses of unwanted items.
She was no doubt right, but while some things can be sold at a tag sale, others cannot. They’re too old, too broken, or just not what tag sale enthusiasts are looking for. Some things just need to be thrown away.
We hope the Council ultimately decides to schedule bulky waste for later this year, and then we hope that it visits the possibility of putting bulky waste on a fixed schedule to allow residents to plan ahead.
Councilors have been pretty good about revisiting the service every few years, calculating when might be the right time to provide the pickup. Putting it on a more fixed schedule would allow for a little more certainty. And if, initially, that schedule proved to be too aggressive and less items were put out for collection than expected, Cheshire could always adjust after a time.
However, letting people know when to expect this particular service will go a long way to helping them make decisions about item replacements or when to handle disposal themselves.
That, however, is a different argument for a different day. For now, the Council’s choice seems easy. Get bulky waste on the schedule for this year.