Monday, February 18, 2008

Mandatory Garbage Pick- Up Again

I've been thinking there's only one way this mandatory garbage pick- up that some in Eureka City Hall keeps proposing might work:

Eliminating the amount of garbage that comes from Eureka. How would that work? Simple.

The City of Eureka could claim, since they have mandatory garbage service, the only garbage that Eureka should be held responsible for is the garbage that the City Garbage trucks bring in to the transfer station. That way, garbage from the outlying areas wouldn't be included when tallying up how much of Eureka's garbage ends up in the landfill. So, Eureka might get a one- time reprieve from dumping too much trash.

Clever, and almost fair, but I don't know that the powers- that- be are that sophisticated to try and pull a stunt like that.

Thing is, they'll still go after the city for whatever trash is dumped. Even if you take the outlying areas out of the equation, Eureka would still have trash taken to the transfer station given the figure of 100%. Then they'd have to take 50% out before it goes to the landfill. Back to square one, so that wouldn't solve much if you look at it that way.

As it stands now, I don't think they ask where you're bringing in garbage from when you dump at the transfer station. So how do they know Eureka dumps so much trash? Are they already just counting trash the City Garbage trucks bring in and not bothering with self- haulers? I don't know.

They used to ask what city your trash was from, some years ago, but I don't recall them asking me where mine is from and I'm in there all the time. Maybe it's because I mostly dump green waste?


Keep in mind that I subscribe (is that the right word?) to garbage pick- up already, and I think it's a bargain. What gets me is how this mandatory garbage pick- up seems to have taken on a life of its own. It seems to be no longer a means to an end, but the end in itself. That's why we keep hearing it proposed.

I may be repeating myself, but it probably bears repeating: Mandatory pick- up will likely increase the amount of garbage going to the transfer station. Some in City Hall actually say the same thing since they suggest mandatory pick- up will help decrease litter. Whether or not it amounts to more diverted, I'm skeptical.

It depends on how they do it. I keep hearing about "single stream" recycling. Well, they can do that with or without mandatory pick- up.

And what about the people from outlying areas? Will they no longer be able to haul their garbage to the transfer station? If they're still allowed, why not just let everyone else haul their own and have it all screened through the same way as City Garbage pick- ups would be?

The most disturbing thing to me about this mandatory stuff is, of course, it's mandatory. But it bothers me as well that I don't think just going through the trash and separating the current recyclables will divert enough trash. So, mandatory won't equate with solving the problem.

I was at the City Garbage recycling center yesterday and was looking at all the stuff being recycled. Volume wise it's probably a drop in the bucket compared to the trash that goes to the landfill. They need to figure out just exactly what the large volume and weight items are that are causing the issue. As I've said before, I suspect it's building materials and perhaps home furnishings; old furniture, mattresses and the like.

Can anybody tell us just what the bigger volume and weight trash items are? Surely someone must have looked into that? I just don't believe recycling more bottles, cans and cardboard will divert enough trash to get a 50% reduction.

I see mandatory pick- up as unnecessary and not dealing with the problem. It might even make things worse.

6 Comments:

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Beachcomber said...

I sent a letter to my city council and mayor voicing my displeasure at the MANDATORY part of this who thing. First off, my family of four manages to go 4-6 weeks before filling one small can because we recycle, compost and shop wisely. Second, they are proposing we be forced to do business with a private concern. I compared it to requiring we shop at Safeway. Our garbage hauler is not a municipal affair.
Why not just offer recycling bins for FREE to everyone who wants them which would encourage them to put less in their garbage cans. Those who recycle will do it no matter what. Those who don't .... ya gotta make it REAL easy if they haven't figured it out by now.

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Seems like the vast majority of the comments I've heard here and elsewhere have been in opposition to the mandatory part of this.

It will be interesting to see how the council deals with the subject.

 
At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Not Surprised said...

It won't interesting at all. It will be predictable. They are looking down the barrel of a state mandate. It is all over but the shouting.

 
At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be MANDATED for the same reason that some day -sooner than most think- human sterilization will be mandated, Fred;

When it comes to the amount of material we waste, on a daily basis, we humans are Pigs!
(Sorry, thats an insult to pigs, they are actually cleaner than us.)

The fact is, we are breeding at an
exponential rate, and generating ALOT of garbage along with it. ALOT!

We are running out of places to put it.

What else could possibly happen?
We gotta start somewhere.....

 
At 1:53 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Well, we're not running out of places to put garbage. Not yet, anyway. Maybe in a couple hundred years. Still, we throw away a lot of stuff.

 
At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

And it gets more expensive every day to haul all that crap to Oregon.

 

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