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  • Writer's pictureTrace Johannesen

Talkin' About Trash

Based on recent events here in Rockwall, I think a good open discussion is in order regarding the waste management in the City of Rockwall. (Please note I have zero visibility into Heath, RC or Fate.)

Twice a week trash pick-up in the City of Rockwall
Trash Services in Rockwall

One of the basic services we as taxpaying citizens expect of our city government is the disposal of waste.

Here in Rockwall, we enjoy twice-a-week pickup based on feedback from our citizens. Other cities have pickup once a week.

As a city, we examine vendors, and staff will make a recommendation balancing cost and quality of service, among other factors. Once the parties agree, a contract is created which clearly identifies the responsibilities of both the city and the provider.

As government, we constantly have to balance the needs of the whole city with the needs of an individual. This may manifest in discussions around sidewalks, or in the provider for large-scale waste container issues.

We also have to balance the expectation of protection of our citizens in the form of permitting and inspections. The decision as to where the line is drawn can be complicated. Do we require permits for me to do a simple drywall repair in my home? Probably not. What about a new structure on my property? Yes. In between these extremes lies the fine line, and sometimes a city requirement can be a pain for an individual, but in most cases, everything works as intended.

Rockwall dictates certain requirements of any waste management provider in terms of permits for operating, liability insurance, safety and incident reporting. In this case Republic as our selected vendor not only meets all of these contractural requirements, but goes above and beyond in providing background checks, drug testing, weekly safety meetings, daily safety huddles, GPS tracking and recordings for incident reporting.

All of this context is important when understanding how and why the city operates in the manner it does.

And as always, I encourage everyone to get involved and get informed. I can sympathize with individual frustrations when certain regulatory issues are perceived to prevent freedom of choice (with no consideration of the larger picture). When you have an issue or concern, it’s almost always better to contact the city to better understand the full scope of a complicated situation that it is to complain on social media. That way we can work together toward understanding the needs of the city and the needs of the individual.

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