Spring Hill, Florida is a beautiful town that sits nicely on the beautiful Nature Coast of Florida. Spring Hill sits north of Tampa in Hernando County. Census information shows a growth of population from 66,000 approx. to 111,000 approx. in 2016. This is an important time in a places history to strike where the iron is hot with sustainability. As new citizens flock to a community, a perfect opportunity presents itself for the people to become educated on sustainability. With an increase in population naturally comes with a rise in solid waste pollution, but if addressed early enough Spring Hill may be able to control it before it becomes a major issue.
Recently in Spring Hill, Hernando County commissioners voted to make garbage removal apart of the people’s property taxes. This leaves many Spring Hill citizens unsettled. Many local people report that Republic Service has done a poor job picking up trash regularly and on time. Another thing on citizens mind was that if Republic is a private company then why are citizens paying the government for the trash to be picked up. The local government did fine republic 135,000 $ for missing 1,300 pickups in Feb. 2018, but this only concerns the citizens more. The question raised is that if they can’t do the job in the area privately then how will a government contract make a difference? Hernando County Officials hope that the private contract will bring about change to this tough issue.
The debate over public and private garbage removal contracts is a nationwide debate. Some places find great success and the best value in these large public contracts, while others fear this is government favoring big business. Data collected from the state of Florida shows most municipalities share public contracts with companies like Republic and Waste Pro. These currently standing public contracts in places like Pensacola or Ft. Myers have proven mild successes. Responses from citizens will always vary, but at the end of the day the goal in mind needs to be sustainability.
Regardless of money, and how the job gets done the biggest emphasis in this debate should be on sustainability. The goal should not necessarily be who can get the job done cheapest, but which waste removal provider has the local communities future in mind. If citizens and government officials can come together; a clean and sustainable future becomes very possible.
Solid waste pollution can be one of the most harmful types of pollution. If a town or city does not have a good basis for trash removal this can quickly lead to major issues. Citizens waste will begin to pile up fast, or people may take it upon themselves to dump their waste some place else. When local government takes charge of the situation change is possible.
It starts with organization of efforts. The government needs to crack down on the agencies responsible for collecting trash from homes. With support through local policy groups of citizens lead by community leaders can make big changes for solid waste pollution efforts.
photo courtesy of: Hernando County