If water, electricity, gas and similar services can be called "utilities", could rubbish collection and/or disposal be a part of this grouping?
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Back before strong municipal burning laws, we would always burn our rubbish in a big burn bin, but we would send the actual garbage out to the dump. Now we don’t even separate it out that way — instead of having rubbish versus garbage, all we have now is trash. Recyclables aren’t even trash, though, so they get their own pickup, and so those do get separated out instead of the burnable rubbish.
I don’t know, but they’re certainly all city services. Which I think is all that matters.
I would call water, sewer, gas, electricity all a form of city utilities, because they deliver something to you. Trash pickup and recyclables pickups, and telecommunications (phone, internet, television), are all also pretty standard city services these days, and many of those are highly regulated ones too.
On the other hand, maybe you only want to call it a utility if your taxes pay for it. The thing is which things are private and which are regulated public utilities varies form one district to the next.
If you live in the country, think of what things you don’t get. You don’t get gas or water, or sewer. Depending where you live, you might also not get electricity. And it’s unlikely you have trash pickup. And good luck with that phone. Where I live, cell phones are useless to people in the country.
Call up your local public utlities commission, and ask them what it is they oversee. That’s your locally correct answer for ya.
In common usage, utilities tend to be public services based on a local network infrastructure. So in addition to your examples, water and sewerage are other cases of utilities, and perhaps telecommunication services are sometimes included. Utility services often have special legal rights such as the ability to dig up roads. So in this sense, rubbish collection (typically using vehicles) is often not described as a utility.
Literally any useful public service can be called a utility, but others may be confused if you do. To make matters more complicated, many utilities have been provided by municipal or local public health services and these have also provided other services such as rubbish collection.
24,800 instances of "utilities and waste disposal" in Google Books would strongly suggest that for most writers these are considered separate (subdivisions of [municipal] services, perhaps).
protected by Community♦ Jun 3 '15 at 9:10
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