A repost from my homepage
I have mentioned that I am in the Waste hauling and disposal business. Kind of a smelly, dirty, infectious type of business. I have decided that the reason they have available such good insurance is the nature of our work. Not really the reason for this particular rant.
I read an article a few days ago by Patricia Anne Tom, one of my favorite editors in “the business”. It was, in a way disturbing, but we should have seen it coming. She told of the new role that the rail services are going to play in the future transport of waste to landfill. Now I’m thinkin’ that this is a great move for many in the industry on the face of it. The tonnage that is now hauled on the highways is enormous.
There are too many roadblocks to opening a new landfill in today’s world. It takes years to get the permits and the environmental regulations are monumental. Besides the fact that everybody is saying “not in my backyard”, while they generate these same mounds of trash.
When we look at the pros, it looks fantastic. We get hundreds of trucks off of today’s aging interstate system and highways, we have a central location to sort and recycle, and we are able to move mounds of trash away from highly congested metro areas easily.
The cons are substantial as well. First you have a huge start up cost. Then you have the same problems of getting permits and enviro concerns. Then you still have the same guy saying “not in my backyard”!
My biggest concern though is the loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs. It’s almost the same as sending our jobs overseas. As a former truckdriver I know how lucrative and attractive a short haul job can be. Not only getting a good to great wage, but being home every night is priceless. I said the same thing when Detroit automated, they dumped thousands of employees, the quality went to hell, and their product went up thousands of dollars.
The bleeding has to stop somewhere. We are beginning to create our own “nanny state”. If we don’t stop eliminating jobs (for whatever reason) we will have more and more people on welfare.