Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: email@example.com
Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch. But Mesa, Arizona, has found that foreclosures and the increasing number of abandoned homes have "made a dent" in trash collections, according to a story in the Arizona Republic. Meaning less trash to the landfill, and fewer stops for the trucks.
At empty homes, no trash barrels are wheeled to the curb. At commercial sites, particularly restaurants, trash is down because people aren't eating out as much. The city's solid-waste manager says the number of homes setting out trash in some neighborhoods has dropped to 75 percent from 95 percent.
The slim silver lining is that the city has saved $220,000 in landfill fees so far this year, allowing it to buy a new truck and extra trash bins. The department also is saving money by cutting four positions.
Cold comfort, of course, for the folks who can't afford the food and commodities that come inside the packaging that normally would fill their trash bins if they still lived in their homes.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.