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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile
    #2976512 - 08/07/04 09:54 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

In Pittsburgh, trash can cost a pretty penny

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- When Pittsburgh began fining residents earlier this year for not complying with the city's mandatory recycling law, it was venturing into relatively uncharted territory. Few Pennsylvania communities with mandatory recycling laws fine residents.

If city workers don't see bundles of newspapers or the blue bags used for glass, cans and plastic placed outside a home on recycling day, the city will contact the resident about the requirement, said Guy Costa, the public works director.

"If we send you a letter and then you continue not to recycle, then we send you a citation," Costa said, who called the fines a last resort.

The city has issued about 100 citations since stepping up enforcement in the spring. Fines with court costs are $62.50. A second offense costs more than $500, though Costa said none have been issued.

Costa said failing to recycle costs the city money. It's paid $11 a ton for glass, cans and plastics and $30 a ton for newspaper, Costa said. Statewide, the average cost to take municipal trash to a landfill is about $57 per ton, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Pittsburgh, like other communities that recycle, also can qualify for performance grants, which help pay for manpower and equipment.

"There's a lot of incentives in there for the city and the residents to recycle as much as they can," Costa said. About 40 percent of city households recycle, he said.


While some people have complained about the fines, Costa said he's been getting mostly positive comments.

"The feedback I've been getting is, 'It's about time because I've been recycling and my neighbor hasn't been,"' Costa said.

Recycling became mandatory in 1988 in larger communities in Pennsylvania and has since expanded to many smaller communities. In 2002, the most recent year for which figures are available, the state recycling rate was about 38 percent, said DEP spokesman Tom Rathbun.

Neither the DEP nor the federal Environmental Protection Agency track communities that fine residents for not recycling.

"We just want (recycling communities) to have a successful program," Rathbun said.

A sampling of communities showed fines are not used often. Recycling officials said they stress education instead.

Reading has issued very few fines said Ann Saurman, education and enforcement coordinator for the city's bureau of recycling and solid waste. Workers notify nonrecyclers by certified letter. The city will supply bins if needed and follow up to make sure the message has gotten across.

"Most of the time, those steps are effective," Saurman said.

Over the last half-dozen years, Saurman said, the city has had an average recycling compliance rate of 95 percent.

In Erie, where about 55 percent of households recycle, the carrot is being used to boost participation, said Sarah Galloway, the city's recycling and environmental resource program coordinator.

Last month, its recycling department began monitoring households to see if residents put out cans, bottles and newspapers. Households that do can win a $50 gift certificate to a grocery store.

"Instead of punishing people, we're rewarding them," Galloway said.

However, Gene Hejmanowski, the environmental director of Penn Township in York County, isn't above using the stick.

The township has a pay-as-you throw program where residents buy trash bags, which Hejmanowski said is more equitable than every resident paying a flat rate.

Hejmanowski and his crew fan out and check trash bags once residents place them out for pickup.

"If I find a recyclable item in your bag, I leave you with a warning subject to a $600 (maximum) fine," he said. Likewise, if he finds trash in recycling.

"I run a very tight program. I'm an ex-Marine and I run this like it was Parris Island," Hejmanowski said.

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Truly insane. Anyone actually for this idiocy, keeping in mind the motives made for passing these laws?

It's about time because I've been recycling and my neighbor hasn't been
So indicative of a mindset that is far too common within certain groups. It's no fair that I'm a great person and I give to charity yet my neighbor doesn't...the government should not allow this injustice to continue! Such stupidity...do things out of the kindness of your heart or don't do them...doing them so you can take the moral highground then bitch for government to force everyone else to be good people like yourself is plain and simple retarded.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


Edited by Ancalagon (08/07/04 09:55 PM)


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
Last seen: 6 months, 2 days
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2976566 - 08/07/04 10:17 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Am I right that they are issuing citations if people don't produce enough recyclables and give them to the city, not if they put recyclables in the trash. What if I recycle my newspapers in my compost heap or roll them into fire logs? What if I avoid packaged food and buy fresh produce? "You didn't produce your quota of the proper garbage this month and we would like you to come downtown to discuss this issue." Tell me again who the fascists are in this country.


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InvisibleVvellum
Stranger

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 10,920
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: zappaisgod]
    #2977360 - 08/08/04 03:26 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I think they are simply issuing warning letters and "last-resort" citations to those who continue to throw away recyclable goods - that is not the same as "issuing citations if people don't produce enough recyclables."


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2977638 - 08/08/04 09:26 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

We live in a world of scarce resources. The longer we can keep the trees that we have the better. If everyone in Pittsburgh recycles, their collective costs will actually go down and it would be a net benefit to all. It also would reduce the demand on fresh raw materials since more goods are recycled back into the market, and that would have a lowering effect on the prices of those goods. Color me a garbage Nazi. Recycling is in all of our best interests. People need an incentive to do so. You can provide that incentive by paying them for the value of their recycled goods, or by fining them if they don't recycle.

I am going to fine Ancalagon for this post. Anyone that does not share my groupthink must be punished.


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Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2977661 - 08/08/04 09:35 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I am also for a sin tax on SUVs and other personal vehicles that don't get adequate mileage performance. People that conspicuously consume gas only make us more dependant on our volatile neighbours. If our nation averaged 10 mpg more in fuel efficiency, demand for and the price of oil would go down. It would marginally reduce the price of every product that you buy. Our air would be cleaner, and our trade deficit would be reduced, just by encouraging more fuel efficient cars. I am not saying ban the SUVs, just let people pay extra for them. By consuming more resources, they put an extra burden on the rest of us and ensuing generations.

Now I am in full Nazi mode. Ancalagon is an enemy of the state. His crime is conspicuous consumption.


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Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineCyber
Ash
Male User Gallery Arcade Champion: Yeti Sports

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 1,476
Loc: Dearborn Michigan
Last seen: 6 months, 29 days
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2977744 - 08/08/04 11:01 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I find this almost laughable if it was not so sad.

I am all for VOLUNTARY recycling. If you want to do it, then do it. If not it is your choice!

Man do I see a real opportunity for abuse! Kind of like the "Traffic fines double in a constructions zone" they passed where I live. All the sudden every highway had "Under Construction" signs up. It was so bad the state had to amend the law to say that workers had to be pressent. So now you still see the construction signs, then you will see one guy sweeping the shoulder of the road with a house broom. Then 50 feet passed him is a cop.

As to the recycling, Lets see.

The city I live in started a recycling campain. I put all my bottles, cans, paper, and plastic into there respective buckets and on recycling day (The same day as trash day) the trash man came by and tossed the trash in his truck, followed by the contents of the recycling bins, then the recycling bins them selves.
When I called the city to get new ones I was told that there would be a $25 per bin replacement charge. Ok I do not want to recycle that bad.
When I moved to a new house (By new I mean I had it built) I expected to get new recycling bins. No, I was told that I was expected to bring the old ones with me.

Now if my town was like Pittsburgh they could fine me for not participating and force me to shell out the $100 for new bin's on top of it.

WHAT A SCAM!

I should be a politician, Then I can RIP PEOPLE OFF legally with out worrying about getting in trouble.


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OfflineRedstorm
Prince of Bugs
Male

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 44,174
Last seen: 3 months, 16 days
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2977860 - 08/08/04 12:10 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

I think is is good to use positive reinforcement (paying for recycling), but punishment (fines for not recycling) is ridiculous.


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OfflineHagbardCeline
Student-Teacher-Student-Teacher
Male User Gallery

Registered: 05/10/03
Posts: 9,805
Loc: Overjoyed, at the bottom ...
Last seen: 13 hours, 3 minutes
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2977916 - 08/08/04 12:30 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Man it's funny you posted this.  I've been meaning to post a thread about it ever since I got back from Europe.  In Switzerland they are forced to recycle and are fined if they don't.  It's probably pretty similar to the Pennsylvania deal.  They make them pay for all the different bags plus collection and from what I gathered it was quite expensive.

I have mixed feeling about this.  On one hand I don't believe these people should be forced to comply with some order about how their trash is packaged when it leaves their house.  To me this is paramount.  However, I don't think their is really any downside to recycling.  I still don't believe that the end would take precedence and justify the means.  But I admit I'm having a real hard time resolving this one.

You can't just leave all of your trash out on the street and expect them to pick it up.  You are required to bag it.  I think many municipalities have long regulated that normal trash and yard clippings had to be bagged separately.    If our local government, which should be representative of the people, is tasked to fufill a job, I believe it should be expected to do things in the most effecient and cost effective way possible.  However the elected offcials decide to adminster the cost, collection, and disposal of these wastes should be in the best interests of the community.  Mandating recycling isn't too far from what many are already required to do.  This would provide a much more cost effective solution for the city in dealing with waste disposal.  This really isn't a far step what many do already.  For a household to separate their garbage isn't a really time consuming process.  If the waste collection people had to it, it would take forever. 

Now it does seem to have flaws.  As was pointed out, the extra costs should not have to incurred for the citizens.  I would think that since they would now be making money instead of spending it, they should be able to cover the costs if managed correctly.  Then again, everytime a new landfill has be dug, it's quite expensive.

But most importantly, we are being really irresponsible by not recycling.  I agree that many gov't regulations that are imposed are unnecessary and unjustifiable.  Though as far as I can tell it's unjustifiable of us as citizens to not recycle. It just seems to me that recycling should have been the preferred way of dealing with wastes since the impact on the environment became evident.  If someone can give a good reason we shouldn't recycle I'd love to hear it, but I haven't been able to come up with one.  I don't recycle mainly because it isn't convenient for me.  But I do realize it is something I should do.  I just bought a house and commented to my g/f the other day I hope they have some sort of program to pick up recycling in the neighborhood so I'll some extra incentive.  To tell the truth, I'd almost be glad to be required to it so I can't rely on my apathy as an excuse.

The cities could always go and do what San Francisco did and spend $38,000,000 on a machine to sort and bail regular trash.  But then, that just seems an unnecessary expenditure when we can do it better and easier ourselves.
http://www.sunsetscavenger.com/recycle_central.htm

I feel like such a liberal tree hugging pussy.  :sad:


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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OfflineHagbardCeline
Student-Teacher-Student-Teacher
Male User Gallery

Registered: 05/10/03
Posts: 9,805
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Last seen: 13 hours, 3 minutes
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2977960 - 08/08/04 12:43 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Just to ad something. I think most people agree that some amount of regulation is necessary in many aspects of our life.

Does anyone think they should be able to dump hazardous wastes in landfills? Or in their backyard? By doing so, you'd be putting your neighbors at risk of harm and effectively initiaing force against them. Though the threat posed by normal trash isn't as immediate, there is long term. Aren't we just initiating force against those in the future by not recycling?


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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Invisiblephreakyzen
My God is anAwesome God

Registered: 12/16/02
Posts: 274
Loc: Under the sea
Re: Recycling Laws - Resistance is Futile [Re: Cyber]
    #2979192 - 08/08/04 09:43 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

I find this almost laughable if it was not so sad.

I am all for VOLUNTARY recycling. If you want to do it, then do it. If not it is your choice!




Sure you have the choice to not use their curbside pickup. By all means load up your own car with your trash and take it to the dump.

I think a better plan than paying a fine would be to just leave the trash in front of their house until they seperate it.


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