Letters to the Editor

Recycling policy

September 13, 2009


To the editor:

I have used a private recycler for many years and have been very happy with their service. I place my sorted items by the curb twice a month for the very modest fee of $8 per month. I do not want to pay the city $12 whether or not I recycle. It is totally unfair. Let the city charge those who used their recycling services instead of burdening all of us with these fees. Our utility bills are too high as it is.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

Recycling/Pay As You Throw work together http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/payt/


In communities with pay-as-you-throw programs (also known as unit pricing or variable-rate pricing), residents are charged for the collection of municipal solid waste—ordinary household trash—based on the amount they throw away. This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste.

Traditionally, residents pay for waste collection through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much—or how little—trash they generate. Pay-As-You-throw (PAYT) breaks with tradition by treating trash services just like electricity, gas, and other utilities.

Either way, these programs are simple and fair. The less individuals throw away, the less they pay.

EPA supports this new approach to solid waste management because it encompasses three interrelated components that are key to successful community programs:

  1. Environmental Sustainability - Communities with programs in place have reported significant increases in recycling and reductions in waste, due primarily to the waste reduction incentive created by PAYT. Less waste and more recycling mean that fewer natural resources need to be extracted. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacture, distribution, use, and subsequent disposal of products are reduced as a result of the increased recycling and waste reduction PAYT encourages. In this way, PAYT helps slow the buildup of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere which leads to global climate change. For more information on the link between solid waste and global climate change, go to EPA's Climate Change Web site.

  2. Economic Sustainability - PAYT is an effective tool for communities struggling to cope with soaring municipal solid waste management expenses. Well-designed programs generate the revenues communities need to cover their solid waste costs, including the costs of such complementary programs as recycling and composting. Residents benefit, too, because they have the opportunity to take control of their trash bills.

  3. Equity - One of the most important advantages of a variable-rate program may be its inherent fairness. When the cost of managing trash is hidden in taxes or charged at a flat rate, residents who recycle and prevent waste subsidize their neighbors' wastefulness. Under PAYT, residents pay only for what they throw away.

    EPA believes that the most successful programs bring these components together through a process of careful consideration and planning. This Web site was developed as part of EPA's ongoing efforts to provide information and tools to local officials, residents, and others interested in PAYT.

To find out more about how these programs work, review the following sections: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/tools/payt/

Richard Heckler 8 years, 9 months ago

What could truly pay for itself? If ALL of us become smarter shoppers. Bring home less trash and recycling material. Where do we start is the million dollar question.

One way would be to buy more beer from local breweries in reusable jugs that come with a deposit attached.

Another way would be to use wine bottles as edging around vegetable and flower gardens. Stick the top in the ground one bottle at a time….sooner or later the edging is done. Got this idea from a neighbor.

Bring cloth bags to the grocery store not only for sacking at the register but for produce and and bulk goods.

Getting into the habit of hauling a large cooler to the store for fresh produce,refrigerated and freezer items works. We load up the cooler traveling about the store( in a grocery cart),unload at the cash register then reload at the sacking point. This way there is the option of not to hurry home but include a visit and other errands. Sometimes all of our groceries fit into the cooler thus holding the cooler temp for an extended period.

Yogurt containers make a good kitchen compost containers. They are also good for storing nuts,bolts and screws. And they are good for mixing paints when doing art projects.

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