It's time to get tough with individuals who flout the law by not using authorized garbage service.
Of 27,867 households in Harrison County, 7,258 do not have haul service. That means that an estimated 1,185 tons of trash are not properly hauled in an average month in the county. And these figures don't include 3,000 former subscribers to hauling services who were cut off due to non-payment.
And where does all that waste end up? Some of it is disposed of at an individual's work place, at other businesses, at a neighbor's, and some is even thrown over hills or burned.
Not only can these practices damage the environment, they cost haulers $1 million in lost revenue that could be applied toward stabilizing hauling rates in the county.
Meanwhile, Harrison County solid waste officials continue the battle of getting more residents to sign up for garbage collection or prodding delinquent customers to pay their bills.
But, we, like some hauling service owners, agree that it is time for mandatory service in Harrison County. Mark DeProspero, owner of Enterprise Sanitation Inc., said mandatory service is an excellent idea and said total compliance could only be achieved through that route.
Harrison officials must enact a countywide ordinance granting criminal penalties for not complying with a mandatory garbage service law. Only by showing deadbeats that their practices won't be tolerated will this intolerable situation be dealt with in a proper manner.
Most people don't relish the idea of subsidizing other people's bad habits, but that is exactly what we're doing when we don't force everyone to use a hauling service.