7/16/2009

Recycling Update

Posted by MJ



Both the LUSJ  and the Buffalo News have articles on the city's quest to institute a more comprehensive recycling program. Each paints a different picture on the impact of the cost estimates.

The Buffalo News mentions a creation of a garbage district to more fairly distribute the costs between single and multiple residences.

Alderman Patrick W. Schrader, D-4th Ward, said he’d like to see multiple dwellings and businesses pay more than ordinary homeowners for recycling. The only legal way to accomplish that is to establish a city garbage district, a proposal that has been floated occasionally for two decades
I have no problem with districts. Most see them as added taxation and thus "bad" and this is not unreasonable at first glance. The populace would have to see detailed numbers showing the reduced tax levy in the general fund. What special districts do allow is the ability for residents to more easily see where their money is going. As is shown with home owner association fees, people are willing to pay extra when they can readily see the results and what is being done with their money.
Other committee members said they want to work on making recycling the more attractive option to property owners. The city has no limits on what, or how much, trash it will collect or who’s allowed to dump; until it does, they suspect, the majority won’t have any economic incentives to recycle. Whether it’s limiting the number of bags per property per week, or requiring every property use a set-size trash can, or limiting municipal pickup for residences only, not businesses or tax-exempt entities, the city’s approach to trash handling needs radical change, they said.




“Where else do you see sinks, couches, mountains of trash set out to the curb and know it’ll all be picked up? It’s like anything goes,” said Dawn Walczak, Niagara County director of environment/solid waste management. “Recycling looks way better (economically) when reduce and reuse go alongside it.”
I was surprised by how encompassing Lockport's garbage pickup still is when I moved here. It is nice but is it the right thing to do, even from just a cost standpoint? The costs have to add up. Also, with how liberal the pickup standards are, I am always curious why people still find a reason to dump things in empty lots etc.

-MJ

2 comments:

jaws said...

Its frustrating that recycling may not happen for another year. We've been waiting for this a long time, city has got to be the last municipality to have curbside totes.

Council President John Lombardi III, R-5th Ward, said the newspaper and cardboard recycling is good enough to meet the state’s recycling mandate.
“This is a feel-good thing,” he said. “I don’t want to spend money I don’t have to.”

This thinking makes me sick...getting a "D" good enough but shouldn't you strive for an "A" even though you don't have to. I hope Pasceri & McKenzie keep up on this. MJ I've always wondered about dumping myself. Where do all the tires come from? Most people get them changed at a shop where they take the old ones. If you change your own why do you pay $80 for a new tire and not $1 for disposal. Instead wait till late at night and sneak to some deserted area and dump them???

Rocketboy said...

As the cost for disposal is tacked on to a new tire, I'm not sure how you're getting away with anything.

But back to the main point, in many ways, recycling is just a way to feel good about yourself. If you take in account all of the energy being used to recycle, you're lucky if it's a zero sum game. Recycling paper can actually cause more pollution than making it new. And that includes the impact of the tree farms. Penn & Teller's Bullsh** has a rather good episode about the whole deal. It's an interesting counterpoint to the story that you normally hear.

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