Is Roswell’s new $285,000 investment “wasteful”?


Roswell’s new bins are now complete with the Roswell City logo which have now been distributed to every home in the Roswell district. Credit: Ava Weinreb

Ava Weinreb, Director of Business

New, large, black trash cans were administered to all Roswell residents this past month. The weeklong distribution of the new cans has left many families wondering what to do with their old ones. Residents used to be required to provide cans that meet city standards and codes, but now thousands of Roswell residents are left with large, old trash cans that the city will no longer permit them to use.

While they may be plastic, the type of plastic that is used to make the bins are non-recyclable. While the change first may have seemed like a safe, eco-friendly solution, it quickly became apparent that the only way to get rid of the old trash cans would just be to throw them away, wasting thousands of pounds of plastic.

“I’m certainly in favor of making changes that will alleviate the difficult and grueling jobs of the sanitation workers; however, I was quite disappointed in the lack of foresight on behalf of the city of Roswell, which is without a specific and environmentally sound plan for exchanging out current refuse containers,” explains Lisa Terry, mother and involved citizen.

Because new trash routes won’t pick up the old trash cans, residents now must find public dumpsters in which to dispose their old trash cans. Many Roswell families are outraged by the amount of waste the cans will produce because they cannot be recycled or continue to be used and the city gave no option to decline the new cans, rather, making it a requirement.

Not only does the required new cans cause a huge spike in trash production, the sheer size of the new cans promotes the use of trash waste rather than the use of recycling. Recycling bins are not only smaller than the new cans, but it is not available to everyone in Roswell, especially those who live in apartments or mixed-use communities. In a world flooding with trash, an easy economically and ecologically sound solution should be of the highest priority. Local natural masterpieces, such as the Chattahoochee, are already suffering due to excessive pollution: trash, chemical spills and the overflow of the sewage system into the water, which is filling the once-clean river with various types of human secretion. With the implementation of the new cans, the promotion of trash use will only worsen the state of Roswell’s natural beauties, despite valiant efforts to preserve them.

From a more economic standpoint, the reuse of the trash cans could be highly effective. Taxpayer money from North Fulton is used to fund several of South Fultons services, including trash. The new, semi-automatic cans have been approved for the price of $285,000 by city council last November. Rather than just disposing of the cans, a redistribution of the old bins could be used to benefit trash disposal in South Fulton. Because of the shared budget, resourcing can be the most efficient way to be cost effective.

“I wonder, would it have been possible for Roswell to partner with other counties in Georgia that require their citizens to buy their own receptacles and donate the old trash cans? Having seen social media post I believe that many would be willing to donate their now unusable trash cans,” remarks Lisa Terry.

The city has yet to release further information about the trash cans, but did make it clear that the trash system will abandon the old cans and will only accept the new cans that meet the code.