I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the relatively small minority of the Walkersville Heritage Farm Park Yard Waste Center users who have so abused the facility that Frederick County had no feasible alternative but to close it down. There is no need to call out any of you by name since you very definitely know who you are.
I originally felt anger toward the county for eliminating yet another important and convenient tax-supported service, but after more thought, felt that the anger and frustration was better focused toward the source of the problem, rather than at the county that has been forced to try and deal with the continued abuse. While there are alternatives to closure, all would certainly involve significant additional expense to the county (and associated tax impact) so I ultimately have to agree with the county’s decision for closure.
It’s unfathomable to me that we, as members and supposed contributors to the well-being of the broader Frederick County community in which we live, can’t adequately follow, abide by, and self-enforce the very simple rules for use of the facility. A sign, visible at the facility entrance, clearly states acceptable and unacceptable items for deposition in the facility. It also clearly states that the facility is for household use only and that it is off-limits to commercial dumping. It’s evident that a small segment of our community believes that the rules do not apply to them and as a result, after Nov. 29, we will no longer have a facility on the north side of the county in which we can dispose of household yard waste.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve personally witnessed commercial use of the facility, dumping of unacceptable items, and other abuses. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to politely remind abusers of the rules and have usually been told in no uncertain terms to “mind my own business.” When I explain that it is all of our business, the dialogue quickly becomes defensive and ultimately achieves nothing. I’ve sent pictures of commercial vehicles dumping at the facility to the county and even removed some unacceptable items dumped by others. What concerns me the most is that certain segments of the population refuse to exhibit common decency or respect for their neighbors by following rules that are actually designed to improve the lives of everyone.
Let’s hope that the closure of the Walkersville Heritage Farm Park Yard Waste Center becomes a lesson to all of us on what it means to be a good neighbor and a productive and supportive member of the community.