We have a race for governor going on in Massachusetts and we need more trash talk – literally. What are we going to do with our trash?

This is one of the biggest issues in the state (actually, in the country and possibly the world) and something that requires a state-level of involvement in the solution. So far, the state of Massachusetts has been silent, except when it said “no” to possible solutions.

Taunton was told “no” by Gov. Patrick Deval’s administration when it proposed a waste to energy project almost a decade ago. Had that project gone through, the current problem with trash would look a lot less desperate now.

The trash burden is on now on the shoulders of Gov. Charlie Baker. Shakespeare said, “uneasy lays the head that wears the crown.” Gov. Baker, like his former governors, has avoided this problem because there is nothing fun, easy or upbeat about the discussion or the possible answers.

The burden is on Gov. Baker because he is going to be re-elected, and also because he can probably figure out a solution and sell it to the public and the interested parties. The most popular governor is America will need to use his political capital to educate consumers on the facts of recycling and how they should adjust their behavior. Charlie can be the new Crying Indian or Woodsy the Owl. Both were so crucial in the advertising and education campaigns that successfully changed people’s behavior.

He is also going to have to bring the deep-pocketed environmentalist lobby to the table to prevent lawsuits from delaying and blocking certain solutions. He is going to need to use his business experience and his understanding of how government regulations work on markets to get to a solution. Self-interest and profit are the only way to get to a functioning solution.

He is also going to have to explain that people are going to have to spend a little more time on recycling, and pay a little more to make the whole thing work.

Charlie Baker didn’t cause this problem, but he can solve it.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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