I am writing to respond and offer a few suggestions to Aila Sundelin of Leicester regarding her neighbor’s trash [“ ‘Common’ Trash Practices Need to Change,” Jan. 27, Xpress]. She mentions calling the Buncombe County Solid Waste and Environmental Control for her concern and getting the response, “That’s a common practice around here.”
A better response is: “Your situation might require the assistance of the Buncombe County Health Department.” Disease can harbor in the conditions she mentions, and diseases can be transmitted.
I have worked for a county health department and have inspected many sites similar to Ms. Sundelin’s description. One of the primary responsibilities of health departments is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. If they choose not to inspect the site, another possibility is to knock on your neighbor’s door, introduce yourself and ask kindly for them to clean it up. An offer to help with the work could form a lasting, respectful relationship.
— Claude Chandler