I also received a few questions and a serious concern from long-time followers about Illegal Dumping and Littering associated with paying for only what was thrown away. The credence to this topic provoked me to believe that this follow-up GTG Blog Post was warranted. Here is my evaluation and why I favor a system that charges us only for what we throw away:
Several decades ago universal costs for garbage collection was implemented through taxes. One of the reasons for this was the collapse of the “honor” system. In our society more and more malefactors were creating serious issues by illegally dumping their garbage to avoid paying fees. The health and well-being of every adult, child, animal, and nature, was being harmed. The universal tax translated into permission for throwing away anything and everything. Along with no additional costs associated with the amount thrown away, waste became rampant.
Over the years, many rules changed. Many Townships placed limits to how much you can throw away on any given day, along with when to place various items at the curb for collection. Recycling was finally in vogue only because companies developed recycling systems that produced a profit. (Some of those recycling operations are now failing and losing money. See my GTG Blog post entitled: Is Recycling Striking Out?)
Nevertheless, things that once cost too much to throw away and the numerous items that we were not able to put into daily garbage collections are accepted today through numerous recycling programs and specific Township wide collection days for polluting items. Programs such as S.T.O.P. programs, (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) are now nationwide. Paying a small fee only when we utilize that service will prevent waste and save us money.
Perhaps you may have broken up an old cement driveway and no way you want to pay the cost for dumping all those pounds and ounces. You also don’t want to be caught on a surveillance camera or someone’s cell phone showing you illegally dumping, thus giving you a large fine and jail time. Yes, jail time for illegally dumping will need to be the rule nationwide. Reason being that today, you don’t need to dump. Search the web, make a few calls, and you will have a business picking up your broken cement at your door. Some may even pay you for the old cement. They, in turn, will crush the old cement for making various other products that can be resold. There is always another way.
I also realize that I don’t have all the answers and the necessary recycling services may not be available in every Township to make feasible the system of only paying for what you throw away. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get all the answers and support new recycling businesses to start up so that we can seriously consider implementing systems where we only pay for what we throw away. We the people may need to demand an evaluation of this alternative system, because the Townships may be in fear of losing tax dollars.
Bill Lauto, at Going True Green
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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