Raleigh garbage disposal ban upheld

March 17, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
The Raleigh garbage disposal ban is still churning up intense rhetoric. Today the debate returned where it began -- to City Hall.

"This has sort of put us on the map as to 'what in the world are y'all thinking?'" asked City Council Member Philip Isley, who opposes the ban.

He urged fellow leaders to back rever the ban and to send it to a committee for more study.

He got support at City Hall today from the president of an appliance company who flew in from Wisconsin.

"Fundamentally we do believe this ordinance will not achieve the desired goal of minimizing sanitary sewer overflows," said Jerry Ryder, President of Emerson Appliance Solutions.

Several council members said they have gotten dozens if not hundreds of angry e-mails. Most agreed they should have had more public input before voting on the disposal ban in the first place.

Tuesday, by a 7-1 vote, they chose to keep the ban in place but to study it further in a smaller committee, with the possibility of reversing it later.

Councilman Thomas Crowder defended the ban and encouraged citizens to alter behavior.

"We also have to look at lifestyle changes, we found that out in the drought as well," Crowder said.

He then stood up from the council table and presented Isley with a canister to hold food scraps for composting purposes.

Isley didn't appear amused.

"This whole debate may seem trivial to us at the table. It doesn't seem trivial to me," Isley said. "But I can tell you right now it is not a trivial issue to most of the citizens of the city. It's what everybody is talking about."

Another council member even brought up the Iraq War to make a point.

"We have a lot of our troops overseas, sleeping in tents, wearing uncomfortable gear, not having disposals, not having showers everyday," said Rodger Koopman. "And here we're talking about disposals as if our lives depended on it. Where is our shared sense of sacrifice?"

The ban means you cannot put disposals in new homes. It also means you cannot replace a broken disposal with a new one in an existing home.

The city's Budget and Economic Development Committee -- headed by ban supporter Mayor Charles Meeker -- will study the prohbition further and report back to the full council.


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