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I asked a question about dumping waste in my county. It was closed as too local. As per Joel Spolsky, co-founder of stackexchange, the rule of thumb for too local is "why is their a car parked outside my house."

To defend the relevance of this question for this site, I will defend the relevance of my question against the closed explination

  • This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors;
    Well any user from Jersey city doing a large project will have waste.
  • It is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.
    Hudson County is home to 634,266 people as per wikipedia. Its a small percentage of the world population. However, its a sizable minority.

I think a question related to any government of an population of over 100,000 people is not "too local."

Update: I'm ok with the question being closed at this point, but I want to add one more point. The law question here is mostly of concern to DIYers and home improvement specialists. To draw a parallel from the startups site, there are a lot of state specific corporation formation questions asked there. However, in that case state level is much bigger than county level, and questions are limited to specif geographies where startups tend to be formed or incorporated (NY, CA, DE, and NV). Therefore the question does tend to get reused more.

  • +1 personally, I voted to close, but I'd like to see what others have to say. – Eric Petroelje May 18 '11 at 21:47
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It's not REALLY the small geographic area that is the issue here. It's more about the likelihood that this information will ever be of interest to anyone else who comes after.

It's not a numbers game. Even if there were millions of people in your area, that's not really the deciding factor. It's what to do with these "once answered, no longer relevant" questions that comes into play. Asking about local laws and municipalities is not not really the type of canonical, field-of-knowledge -type of information that we're compiling for the thousands-to-millions of people who come after.

Perhaps the question might have been better asked: "Who would I contact regarding the dumping requirements of …" That's one way to turn a localized issue into a question where everyone could benefit.

Behind the scenes, there are very real people; real experts, trying to answer your questions. We have to keep the site interesting to them, or the whole system falls apart.

If you take a look at our 'about page', there's a passage which sums up what makes Stack Exchange "relevant:"

You wouldn’t shout out a calculus question in a football stadium, right? You’d go to the math department of a university.

And that's, essentially, what you are trying to do; Where the objection to a "too localized" question lies. Sure, your question is relevant and probably deserves an answer. We're just not sure this is the best forum to get it. This is an Internet-wide forum for "home improvement enthusiasts"; not a local forum to hash out the foibles of 100,000 municipalities.

There's nothing inherently wrong with your question. It deserves and answer. The "too localized" restriction addresses the issue of applicability and maintaining the interest of the experts you are asking for help.

To that end, we've updated the description of "too localized" to highlight this issue of applicability to other users:

too localized
This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet.

I know this is a complicated issue. The users here desperately want to help everyone asking their questions. But you caught us in the middle of figuring out how to best accommodate everyone without destroying the general interest level of this site in the process.

  • I see you're point, and to be honest I don't think their is a right answer to opening or closing my question. If anything, I blame the specific local governments for not having websites that make this question fail the google test. – Justin Dearing May 20 '11 at 19:09
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    @Justin Dearing: So maybe the real underlying question is how best to figure out this information so that (as I said in my post above), everyone can benefit. – Robert Cartaino May 20 '11 at 19:30

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