To the editor:
The Germans solved the curbside recycling problem 20 years ago. The city in which we lived, Kaiserslautern, put out a list of materials which were to be segregated and separately collected and fined every household that didn’t segregate their trash to the tune of approximately $70 per improperly segregated container. The fines paid for the labor expended in sorting the trash and hit home with the seriousness of the city’s resolve.
Compostable waste, such as table scraps and yard waste, could only be mixed with small amounts of paper — NO PLASTIC! Metal was separated, glass was separated, paper and clean plastic also. These measures left a clean waste stream and enabled cities across Germany to hold the line on tax measures because the recycling effort resulted in a revenue stream to support local budgets.
I don’t suppose our fair city will want to do this — it being un-American and all. But think about it, the 75,000 Americans living in and around Kaiserslautern bought into it, some of them immediately after they were fined, but most of them from the very start. It works!