I got my trash can last week. It sports a stylish City of Fort Wayne logo and what looks a serial number. It has 2 big wheels and is way bigger than my old trash cans. The black color hides dirt very well. They were slow getting it to me because of the snow, but hey, these things happen. And that is all the good things that I have to say about it.
I remember when this idea was first put forward. The only vocal opposition at the time were elderly folks who were worried that the cans would be too heavy for them to push to the curb. Originally I didn't mind this idea so much because it was intended to save money. Because the new can is compatible with an automatic lifting arm, it was supposed to allowed trash to be picked up by a solo driver rather than requiring him to have an assistant to empty the cans into the garbage truck. I can usually support government measures to save money, so as long as the savings be passed onto me, the consumer, taxpayer, and voter.
So why do I have to pay a monthly rental fee for my goddamn trash can if this is supposed to save money? Over time, I am going to be forced to pay way more in rental fees for what I could have easily bought with a single payment. If the city wishes to retain ownership of the cans to prevent people from taking them when they flee the Summit City, they should simply impose a one-time refundable deposit. I realize that a deposit large enough to ensure that they aren't taken as souvenirs is far out of the range of what many lower income residents can afford. In their case, they can pay the deposit in installments.
In fact, I am convinced that if the city does not use the refundable deposit strategy that I have discribed above, then pretty soon they will be mailing angry letters to a former Fort Waynian who took his can with him when he moved to Durham.