The talk the past couple of days on the Trinity Park listserv has been the unreliability of yard waste pickup. You see, we pay $60 a year for the large brown containers to be picked up, but, judging from comments on the listserv (and my own experience) they are at the bottom of the pick-up priority list.

Coincidentally, I learned from The Herald-Sun this morning that the City Fathers are concerned that it’s unfair for some people to be able to pay for yard waste pickup and others not. Only a quarter of those eligible actually pay for the brown containers, the paper reported. To solve this disparity some are proposing to make yard waste pickup universal and put it all on property tax payers. That’s a typical Durham response to any problem: Wealth redistribution.

They’re also talking about a leaf-vacuuming program, which could cost close to $1 million. But Public Works Director Katie Kalb warned City Manager Tom Bonfield that leaves raked into the street could interfere with street sweeping, and leaves could decompose and flow into storm drains and clog them.

I’ve got news for Kalb and Bonfield. That happens now. I don’t know about the street-sweeping schedule, but for the past several years the only way the leaves in the gutter in front of my house have been removed is by me. I routinely load them into my brown yard-waste bin and also make sure to clear the storm drain in front of my house, which, in the fall, usually has about 40 pounds of leaves blocking it. So that’s a non-issue as far as I can see.

How about this: If people want yard waste removed by the city, have them buy the $60 sticker for their brown bin, rather than spread the cost to responsible citizens so that some people can ride free.