Inspired by a new law being talked about in the Village of Cobleskill that charges residents for garbage pick-up according to how much they throw away (pay-as-you-throw), Central Bridge Sewer District officials have raised the possibility of employing the same principle to resolve the hamlet’s long-standing sewer development challenge.
Instead of simply developing a sewer system and charging sewer district residents a flat rate, this new program would charge sewer district residents on the basis of how much “material” they discharge from their homes. John Crapser of the Central Bridge Sewer District explains how the system would work: “each home in the district would be fitted with a special toilet that weighs the contents of the toilet before every flush. A charge would be assessed to that home based on the monthly weight of outgoing sewage”.
According to supporters, this program provides an incentive for residents to cut down on unnecessary bowel movements, to make alterations to their diets to encourage lighter stools, to use less toilet paper and best of all, to compost their own fecal material. “This will increase the general health of the public AND be beneficial for the environment”, Crapser explained.
However, Joan Hotaling, a 450-pound mother of eight, thinks this plan will unfairly penalize her household. At a public meeting, Hotaling estimated that she defecated on average four times a day and insisted that her stool probably weighed more than that of the average person due to the amount of fat and grease she consumes. Angry and frustrated, Hotaling claimed she would be forced to leave Central Bridge if the community started charging her “by the pound” to process her bowel movements.
At this point, a rather svelte-looking individual stood up and shouted, “good riddance”! “Why should I have to pay so you can shit like an elephant”, he screamed, drawing wild applause from the audience.
A few members in the audience claimed to have already lived in a “pay-as-you-poop” city. They explained how at first it was confusing but after a while they began having bowel movements outdoors in order to fertilize their garden. “Once we started doing it the ‘natural way’ our sewer bill was cut in half”, they explained.
Another potential plan, which also received support, would involve selling residents special bags into which they would defecate and then deposit at the local sewage treatment plant. Whatever plan is chosen, it appears that Central Bridge is tired of the old ways of doing things and is ready to try something new.