A lot of municipalities require residents to sign up for garbage removal service. As far as I can tell, the justification for such requirements is that residents are too lazy to haul their own trash to the dump so every one of them must pay somebody else to do it. But rules are for thee, not for me. When the State decides to leave trash on land it claims as its property what consequences befall it? Usually nothing. However, once in a while there are a handful of people who step in and take action:
Since December, clothes, syringes and other waste — remnants of a homeless camp — sat at the corner on the edge of downtown. St. Paul staff members said they repeatedly called the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over the property, and asked them to clean it up. But the trash remained.
When Mische heard about the months of inaction, he rallied neighbors and family members and spent more than five hours on Saturday and Sunday cleaning it up.
On Saturday, he took about 50 bags of trash to an official dump site. The site was closed Sunday. Frustrated, he thought of an alternative for the additional two dozen bags.
“If City Hall is not going to come get it, we’ll bring it to City Hall,” he said.
He left a heap of trash bags at the doorstep of City Hall.
Personally, I’d have bypassed the dump entirely and went straight to City Hall but that’s just me nitpicking. I applaud Mr. Mische’s efforts. To add icing to the cake, the city has also decided again charging Mr. Mische with illegal dumping. I guess the city decided it would look bad if it fined somebody who did its work for it.
Little acts of civil disobedience such as this may not topple the State but they can act as a thorn in its side.