Cruising around town, it's hard not to notice the sweet musky stench of garbage. In my fifteen years as a Lawton resident, I can't remember ever encountering such an issue. Everywhere I seem to go, I'll catch a whiff of that very distinctive smell. I've spent enough time hauling things to various city dumps in my life to know, it's not the actual garbage that smells so bad, it's the dumpster juice that seeps from the bottom. A mix of waters leaching from rotting vegetables, meats, and fruits, dumpster juice is not a pleasant thing at all.

When I lived in Hawaii, when we'd frequent the touristy Waikiki Beach area, there's a street that runs the entire stretch of the shore there. It's a street loaded with nice shops, a very cool international market, and a ton of restaurants. Coincidentally, there was one alleyway right across from the beach that housed a ton of eatery dumpsters. You see, there's no sense in throwing away food to rot in a landfill, trucks would come pick it up to mix into compost. As such, it was only natural that the bins would get emptied once a week. I guess that's how long it took to fill one. Every time we walked past that particular alleyway, this horrid smell would hit you like a ton of bricks. The juxtaposition of the prettiest scenery with the worst smell was comical. Experiencing that same wall of rotten aroma here in town has me wondering what has changed this year?

Pandemic cuts.

We already know, even though a majority of citizens are still against a cut to the trash service here in town, your city council has decided to cut your service in half. Adding insult to injury, they're slightly raising the cost. Mix that with the everyday questions on social media, people wondering if their trash will be picked up, mounting backlogs, trash service being forced to extend into the late evening hours, makes me question if this is really saving any money? If it takes one employee twice as long to do the work of two employees, where's the savings in that? I know not paying two insurance premiums is what they probably hint at, but still, if you're forced into paying overtime, it doesn't make sense. Especially if the standard of service suffers for it.

This year has been a wild one. It started out with a goal to fix the sewer smell along Lee Boulevard, and is quickly becoming a new smell city wide. If I were you, I'd be on the phone with your city councilor and Mayor Booker. Remind them exactly who they work for.