Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sorting through the trash (collecting)

As a person who faithfully recycles, I was a little dismayed to find out the only thing that stood between me and a healthier planet were six city councilmen in Lorain who last night voted no on "pay as you throw."
For those of you who have been living in a Dumpster for the past few months, "pay as you throw" is a program (being pushed by the Lorain County Solid Waste Policy Committee) in which households are limited to the amount of trash they can put on the curb.
The common way to do this is to give every household two containers. One for trash and one for recylables. The theory behind this is that people trying to save space in their limited trash bin will throw recyclables in the other one, where they belong -- instead of between the coffee grounds and banana peels in the garbage.
Sounds like an idea that should have no opposition, right?
Well, it did. In Lorain. Where I live. The city council vote was 3-6 against the program.
Lorain has to approve it by Wednesday in order for the county to get $1.5 million in recycling incentives.
How could they do this, I thought ... when every other city in Lorain County has approved it?
And then I got this interesting e-mail from Rocky in LaGrange where "pay as you throw" has already been implemented:

"i am a resident of lagrange and have been on the "pay as you throw" program for a few months now. i have received zero cost reduction, actually my last bill went up and i am giving less trash. not to mention i no longer have the ability to throw away large objects or construction material, unless i rent or borrow a truck to load up and take into town to designated area which allows you to throw away such items. i live outside the city and i am truly considering dropping my trash pick-up completely and just burning everything i can and dropping what i can't off at the designated area when needed. to me lorain did the right thing. the program needs to revised to accommodate their issues, but also issues they have not brought up. the designated dumping area needs to be dropped. a monthly or bimonthly or quarterly pick-up for large items and construction material at our residence would be a better solution. also the price needs to go down for people to accept this. throwing away less trash and recycling more should mean we pay less. i am 100% behind the decision that was made in lorain, things need to be improved drastically in my opinion.
also i wish the other city councils would have been as smart as the lorain council in trying to get this program improved before implementing it!
kudos to lorain!"

And now I'm all confused. You mean the trash collectors will never take that old couch or that broken lawn chair if you put them out on the treelawn?
Well, shoot, sometimes you have stuff that won't fit in a garbage can but I don't want to have to haul it to a dump. It's tough enough to do that with tree branches.
And for all this inconvenience -- and the number of trash collectors it should eliminate -- I should see cheaper bills.
We have to do some more reporting on this story, I think.
The only problem is I won't know before I go to the polls today whether to reward or punish those Lorain politicians who voted down the program.

1 comment:

Toss and Go! said...

Why should the citizen be responsible for recycling? I understand the whole, let's make the world a greener place sentiment but so what. I toss my trash and it should then be the problem for the city. i pay for pickup and they should find a way to recycle and make some money on what they get out of the garbage.
When did it become my problem?