Apr 202016
 

City officials in Naperville must enjoy making their residents jump rope, hurdle over obstacles, and dance to their music. It’s been happening for years, and the beat goes on and on.

A number of years ago, Naperville city officials wanted to address a perceived shortage of water during a hot summer, so they decided to ask/require residents to conserve water usage. Naperville residents being responsible and wanting to do the right thing obliged the city by reducing the amount of water they used. It was a very brown summer for lawns. By the time Autumn rolled around and the ‘water scare’ was over, residents were rewarded with a hefty increase on their water rates. Naperville city officials justified the huge increase by saying that due to the reduced usage of water during the summer , it resulted in less revenue for the city, hence the need to jack-up the rates. Naperville city officials have used convoluted thinking as a main pillar of strategy; when things don’t go as planned (which is often), just stick it to the residents.

It’s happening again. This time with the City of Naperville’s trash and recycling cans. There is a movement to pass an ordinance requiring the cans to be out of sight, not in front of the house, not on the side of the house, which means putting the cans in back of your house (unless it can be seen from a street), or putting the cans in your garage (which means taking your car out of the garage), or putting the cans in your house which appears to be completely acceptable to city officials.

The Naperville city council is quick on the draw when it comes to passing ordinances, but not enough thought is given to unintended consequences. In this case, the council passed an ordinance requiring city approved cans be used for trash and recycling purposes. The cans come in three sizes; huge, enormous, and humongous.

Where to put the cans has become a brain teaser for residents, even without an ordinance limiting the choices. I chose a can the size of a VW Beetle, rather than one which was the size of a Buick and would have required me to park my car in the driveway, or the street which is also a no-no covered by another ordinance.

If city officials would have been thinking proactively, critically, and strategically, rather than having green cans (trash) or blue cans (recycling), they could have designed the cans in camouflage, or made them look like small buildings or big mailboxes, something, anything that would have blended into Naperville’s subdivision landscape.

If all else fails, the City could consider the following idea as a solution to all their trash can problems:

 

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