According to Alex Shebar of Cincinnati.com, Cincinnati is planning a tax on trash collection, in part, they say, due to bed bugs.
The new system could increase efficiency and help control the vermin and bedbug problem that sanitation workers often face. It is based on other automated systems in cities such as Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lexington and Louisville.
The proposal would add $17.30 a month to a resident’s water bill, or $207.60 a year. It would add $19.90 monthly to a small business’ water bill, or $238.80 a year.
Some are not convinced this is a good idea. Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Monzel is one:
Monzel said the system is a good one but that the cost should not fall on residents. He said City Manager Milton Dohoney should search for other services and programs that can be cut to finance it, although he didn’t offer any suggestions.
“If we are looking for efficiency by using this system, I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “But to go through and build this whole system and charge the citizen to pay for it is ridiculous.”
I have to say, from the perspective of people with bed bugs — many of whom suffer deep financial losses due to bed bugs — the idea of more costs is a daunting idea.
But it’s easy for me to say: I’m not the one who has to find some other programs or services to cut.
I do think that Cincinnati needs to focus funds on helping people fight bed bugs, and on helping them get and pay for necessary treatment, since we hear from many in that town who can’t afford pest control services and are trying to use products sold in the drugstore to fight their own bed bug infestations.
Because collecting bed bug-infested furniture may be an important part of the solution to bed bug problems in Cincinnati, but proper bed bug treatment for all citizens is even more crucial.
You can cart off all the bed bug-infested mattresses and dressers you like, but as long as people do not get good, aggressive bed bug treatment, they will still have bed bugs.