This week, ClickBack asked editorial readers about Brewer charging for trash removal and private prisons in Maine.
Should residents pay to dump their trash?
Our property taxes in Brewer are already high, and the services we receive are few. Now we are about to lose one of these services.
Charging for trash removal will cause dumping in the woods, on the side of the road, in other people’s Dumpsters, or even hoarding in garages and sheds. Two dollars a bag may not sound like much, but to those on fixed incomes or unemployed it is just another fee that they cannot afford.
I agree that homeowners who pay taxes should get a free ride on paying for pickup. I think that after paying your taxes, a person should get enough stickers for 52 bags. That would be one a week.
If people would compost and recycle that would be easy. This way the cost of trash pickup is spread across the field so that everyone is paying, not just the homeowners.
I think that would a fair way to do trash pickup. Single-stream recycling is very easy — no sorting for anyone. You put plastic, bottles and cans all in one container, and this all gets sorted at the plant. There is a much higher rate of usable recyclables this way.
Without some kind of offset, the “pay as you throw” program is essentially a tax hike on the residents of Brewer. With all the debate over whether or not to raise taxes during the current economic crisis, it seems like very bad timing to be starting a program like this. This needs to be offset by reducing our property taxes by the amount now paid per household for trash pickup, or giving Brewer residents a certain number of free bags for pickup, after which you pay for it.
That said, I support the efforts to reduce trash disposal by increasing recycling. To be fair, Brewer’s zero-sort recycling program continues to be free to Brewer residents, and pickup for that will double next year. However, the paid trash disposal will still be an added expense we can ill-afford, even if we reduce our trash through recycling.
Should Maine allow private prisons?
This country has more people in prison than any other country in the world. We need to take a serious look at our laws. For a country that stands for freedom, we love to take it away a lot.
There needs to be more questions asked here.
Will the proposed private prison be required to meet the same oversight that our current system undergoes? Who will be ultimately responsible for the health and welfare of the inmates and staff? What is the recidivism rate among inmates who have been incarcerated by these private prisons in comparison with state-run facilities?
The proposed company doesn’t exactly have one of the most stellar reputations around the country.
When you take someone’s freedom, put them in a cage, it may be warranted. Society may need to do this for safety of others. But then society, through its government, needs to be accountable fully for what happens to the incarcerated individual. There are too many opportunities and reasons for private agencies to ensure that prisoners stay prisoners. The public interest is best served by making the incarceration of people expensive.
harry H Snyder
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated 140,000 U.S veterans were in state and federal prisons in 2004. At least we’re still the home of the brave.