Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a (solid) waste

"We encourage those folks to call us to get that extra cart because we want our tonnage to go up as high as it can go," says Durham's Solid Waste Management director Donald Long. What's he talking about? Getting people to recycle as much as possible! Who are "those folks"? Residents who are recycling so much that they need a second 95-gallon cart!

WOW! They need a second cart because they are recycling so much! That's awesome! People are keeping more waste out of landfills and helping the planet. How can we reward them for this effort? Let's see how director Long chose to do it:
To accommodate people who find that their bins are overflowing with materials by the end of two weeks, the city has started renting out extra containers for $18 a year.
Nice! You're doing such a great job that we would like to make you PAY for it! Well done, Durham, pat yourself on the back for this one.



Anonymous said...

The problem with the WRAL story is that it is ONLY ONE resident of Durham complaining. The carts handle at least twice the amount of the old blue bins (Heck! It handled all of my recyclying from my kitchen renovation!). This is why WRAL did not have anyone else in their big story about much-ado-about-nothing.

Steve said...

If your goal is to increase recycling "as high as it can go" then why not make it as easy to do that? Why make it a hassle for people to do the right thing?

I don't have an issue with how it's done now from my family's perspective, but the house across the road from me and some others in my neighborhood have their carts overflowing every two weeks. Usually the recycling ends up in the road at that point. In the old days these same houses had 3-4 small recycling bins each and since they were being picked up by hand each week they could put out as many as they wanted. Now we're required to use only one type of bin so it can be picked up by machine.

If it really is a small problem (and I have no idea if it is or isn't), then why not just hand out an extra cart or two to ones who are -- again -- doing what you want them to be doing?