(**Update** As of October 5, 2012, Shelby County dropped this proposal due to local demand.)

If you’ve been trying to cut costs by taking care of your own trash, you may need to reconfigure your budget.

Shelby County trash collection service may become mandatory soon, at a cost of $25/month.

The proposal would make every resident pay for garbage pickup. It doesn’t matter if you’ve always been responsible with your waste. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, live alone, and produce one trash bag every 2 months.

A lot of Memphians see this as a $300/year tax, paid directly to MLGW in your monthly bill. The county argues the proposal will help cut down on illegal dumping, but many residents don’t agree the plan will work.

It’s always frustrating to get higher taxes and new bills, but it’s even worse during a recession when most people in Shelby County are already struggling financially and trying to cut back. As a bankruptcy lawyer here in Memphis, I know that $300/year could make all the difference for people who are already overburdened with debt.

In my opinion, if people don’t want the government’s help, the government shouldn’t require them to take it. And if utility costs like this are taking too much out of your paycheck every week, give me a call at 901-327-2100. I’m here to help.

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(Photo by Lars Sundström)