Letter to the Editor: Town garbage bags are a ‘fail”


To the Editor:
After following a trail of smelly garbage that fell out of the holes in the cheaply made, ever shrinking, mandatory town garbage bags, I felt compelled to write this letter.

When the town of Northborough decided to start using pay-as-you-go garbage bags I wasn’t thrilled, but accepted that the decision was likely principled on fairness for those who had less garbage each week.  I even focused on the hope that residents would have more incentive to recycle.

When the bags were introduced, it took me a while to recover from the $10 sticker shock for five large garbage bags or 10 kitchen garbage bags. When the price of the bags rose to $12.50, I concentrated on the positive environmental impact and tried to embrace the fact that the bags were sturdy and held more than the comparably sized non-town bags. After removing them from the kitchen pail, there was still plenty of room to include the remaining garbage in the house each week.  BONUS!

That “BONUS” has completely transformed into a “FAIL”!  The next increase in price to $15.00 was absurd; especially since the price increase was completely disproportionate to the decrease in the size and quality of the bags. The original, fabulously large, kitchen garbage bags continue to shrink exponentially.  They barely fit over the lip of the pail without stretching them until just before the ripping point. In other words, they are total garbage (pun intended). If you touch them with any force, or do the unthinkable and actually put trash in them or try to remove them from the pail, they tear everywhere, most predominantly under the handy, dandy bag tie, rendering that “feature” completely useless!

As a Northborough resident I have felt lucky to live in such a beautiful community. Unfortunately, the beauty seems to dissipate the more my eyes are drawn to the increasing amount of litter. I witness sanitation workers’ frustration with the bursting bags and notice filled trash bags, fast food containers and miscellaneous garbage scattered on the sides of roads, wooded areas, parks and trails. Clearly, the program is no longer fostering environmental consciousness, nor truly reducing waste.

Many people work tirelessly to make improvements to our town; buildings are receiving facelifts, and there are continuing efforts aimed at the ultimate beautification of downtown. If things do not change, though, I fear that Northborough will instead begin to look like a literal dumping ground, property values will decrease, and all of these endeavors will fail.

I know that I am not alone in this quest for a better solution; no one wants to deal with these expensive, stinky, busting garbage bags any more! C’mon Northborough, let’s do something so that we can once again stop to smell the roses instead of holding our noses to avoid smelling the trash!

Debra Powell