Is it fair to charge everyone the same for trash pickup?

Ikaika M Hussey

Mayor Caldwell today proposed levying a uniform $10 per month fee for trash pickup across the island. It would clear up an uneven fee structure, according to the city’s press release:

For example, some nonprofits pay fees for trash pickup while others do not. Businesses in locations that require special equipment pay for the service while others do not. The proposed city fee will serve to clean up the discrepancies.

There’s two points to consider with this proposal:

1) Is it fair to levy a uniform charge throughout the island for refuse pickup? This would be a regressive fee, with a disproportionately heavier impact on poor residents.

2) The burden of trash disposal falls on Wai‘anae residents, which is the location of O‘ahu’s only active municipal dump site. Should the proposal include a provision to alleviate the burden on that population?