Council member angry about disposal ban

March 9, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
A city council member speaks out against garbage disposal ban.

That churning and whirring of the garbage disposal will be getting quieter soon in Raleigh.

Last week, the city council voted unanimously to ban disposals in new houses and to outlaw replacing your old one if it breaks. But one council member was absent for the vote, and Philip Isley is angry about how it turned out.

"Anytime the government comes into your house, that makes people angry, and this is clearly that instance," Isley, who owns and uses two disposals, said. "Now we've not only come into your bathroom and your kitchen, we've come into your garbage collection, the way you dispose of your scraps, and I think that offends people greatly."

The ban is set to go into effect next Monday, March 17th. Isley said he plans to bring his concerns back to the City Council table the day after that on the 18th, which is the next time the council is set to meet.

Those favoring the ban say its needed to prevent sewage overflows caused in part by those who put grease and food down their disposals.

"We have almost one sewer overflow every week involving hundreds, sometimes thousands or tens of thousands of raw sewage," said Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker. "To me it's something that's a reasonable restriction."

Dale Crisp, the city's Public Utilities Director, agreed. He oversees the sewer system for the city.

"We're trying to ask our citizens to take personal responsibility to dispose of garbage as garbage," Crisp said. He added that, to his knowledge, Raleigh will be the only city in the country with such a ban.

Isley doesn't think the ban will help the overflow problem.

"People that are continuing to put stuff down drains and clog their drains," he said. "Grease, oil, things like that, they're going to continue to do that whether or not they have a disposal or just use their sink."