My family rented a small country bungalow for a week in the summer. This was early in the decade that would close out with the New York Jets winning the Super Bowl, have men walk on the moon, and the New York Mets reaching their impossible dream.
I have so many memories from those special days outside the big city. Many are happy, some are sad. Yet, I treasure all the lessons learned, because today I am a better person for them…
My listening attention to all of God’s animals and insects was suddenly lost as I witnessed my father take a quarter out of his pocket and put it on top of the garbage can. As he bent down to pick up a good sized rock, I asked, “What’s the quarter for?” After all, a quarter was a lot of money to me.
“To pay the garbage company for picking up our garbage in this can,” answered my father as he placed the rock on top of the quarter. “Everyone has to pay twenty-five cents for each garbage can they put out. So if you don’t have much garbage, you will not have many garbage cans and you don’t have to pay a lot for the garbage to be taken away. That is why we try not to waste anything.”
I then vaguely remember my dad sharing a story about when he was a boy my age during the Great Depression and how everything you owned, had a value. Wasting things was a sin and nobody ever went around the neighborhood to steal everyone’s quarters on top of their garbage cans. That too, was a sin.
I am gratified that I was part of that honor system and the lessons I learned. One lesson I am still acutely aware of, and this is a fact, when you Waste Not, you Want Not.
Today, I put out one garbage can, once a week, while most of my neighbors (there are many more than three in view) will put out two garbage cans, two times a week. Unfortunately the taxes we pay for garbage collection is now much more than a quarter per can.
Therefore, I am in favor of doing away with the yearly flat tax fee for garbage collections and have each household pay for the amount they throw away. Think of this for a few minutes:
- We will waste less
- We will help our environment
- We will pay less and SAVE Money
The best approach to this, is for us to pay by the weight of our garbage that we need to be collected. This is easily accomplished by having RFID Tags on our garbage cans that match the computer data on the garbage truck so the following can be confirmed and used:
- The name of the garbage can’s owner
- The street and billing addresses
- The Account number assigned
Allow me to offer just one example of this system helping us all to be better:
You sweep up the dirt on your driveway or house floor, put it into a purchased plastic bag, and lug it to the curb. Yearly you pay your garbage collection tax and don’t save anything.
You sweep up the dirt on your driveway or kitchen floor or basement, place it in a small pail with a handle and toss it out on top of the dirt in your backyard or flowerbed.
You DO NOT spend any money buying a plastic bag.
You DO NOT hurt your back lugging it to the curb.
You DO NOT add another plastic bag to a Land Fill.
You DO NOT pay a yearly garbage collection tax.
You DO NOT bring any dirt to the curb.
You DO NOT have anything recorded or weighed.
You DO NOT pay any MONEY because you didn't throw anything away!
Eliminating our Garbage Collection Tax is one thing, paying only for the garbage we throw out is another. Yet, we all must stop wasting waste! Consider these steps to start throwing out less:
- Recycle more than what you are recycling now [STOP buying Bottled Water!]
- Visit my Blog Categories to learn more, the Links are on the right side of this page
Now isn’t this a more sustainable way to live? Save Money, Energy, Health, and our Environment for our grandchildren. All that, without sacrificing anything!
Bill Lauto, at Going True Green
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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