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Cities need to have a good plan to remove its citizens' solid waste; it's one of those necessary, often money-draining evils that we all have to pay for.

Because of additional costs to haul away all the yard debris it collects, the city of Covington will raise rates $3 a month for most residential customers and a $1.50 raise for seniors.

Even with the increase, the service will continue to be a money loser for the city. We know the city periodically reviews its services, and we suggest this is another time to explore privatization of the service.

Though much smaller, Oxford recently privatized its solid waste operation, and unincorporated Newton County has a variety of private providers whose competition with each other keeps prices reasonable.

The city has many well-managed services, but citizens expect competitive prices and depend on city officials to be looking out for their best interest.