Imagine my surprise when I read on the Lake County Public Works Facebook page:
“We at Public Works and the Landfill are sorry to report that until further notice, the Drop-off recycling sites will be closed due to the possible exposure of COVID-19 to Landfill Employees. Please deposit all recyclables in with your regular trash at this time.”
Since many of my neighbors do not have Facebook, they had plans to drop off their recyclables. For me, the notice created more questions than it answered, so I made a comment on their Facebook page only to have it deleted!
“Most Relevant is selected, so some comments may have been filtered out.” Really? Isn’t there something called a first amendment right for free speech that cannot be infringed upon by the government in both the State and Federal Constitutions?
Here are my concerns that were deemed less relevant:
1. If using CDC recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) why would the staff at the landfill be afraid to sort the recycled material? Have their fears, not based on the available science, been run by our health department?
2. Since there are only three positive test results for COVID in the county and nine tests according to our department of health, what evidence does Public Works have to aver “possible exposure of COVID to Landfill Employees”?
3. How were they possibly exposed?
4. What about the budgets of our Lake County citizens? This will result in an insurmountable increase in our landfill disposal costs.
5. What about the exponential increase in landfill volume?
6. How do we fit large cardboard boxes even when broken down into the orange bags that cost $6 + tax each?
7. Do the powers that be understand that this unilateral act discontinues all recycling in Lake County?
8. Did the county health department actually condone this action based on no publicly available evidence that the contagion came from somewhere at the recycle center?
9. Are landfill fees being waived?
I am not sure about you, but nearly 90% of my waste consists of recyclables. That means I will incur about a 10,000% increase in my disposal costs. I got a 1.6% raise and my property tax already increased over 33%, my Parkville bill increased 12% and my health insurance went up 7%. That is a quintessential example of an unsustainable budget.
What about all the people who lost their jobs in this community? Is this the right time to increase their landfill costs? Maybe they did not recycle and it is moot. I would bet they do though.
What about the overflowing landfill? Is this the best time to overload it even more with zero published evidence to do so?
If Public Works employees are being infected with COVID-19 because they are not required to use basic PPE like gloves due to touching the metal dumpsters while loading them for transport, we are all possibly infected. So are any of us who touched a Safeway grocery cart.
Notice to the health department: You are going to need lots and lots more tests if anyone is going to buy into this malarkey.