Discussion World Forum  


Go Back   Discussion World Forum > Discussion Forums > Environment

Environment Climate Change, Pollution, Endangered Species, Industrial Agriculture, Degrading Habitats & Renewable Energy.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old Jul 13th 2011, 07:08 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Yes, I see that. I was just pointing out that proven policies are already out there that actually do work to address this particular problem.

That's always the first place to start when faced with a political problem - look around to see how other jurisdictions are doing it - and which ones work, and which ones don't. This model in Toronto isn't the only way to go about the problem.

Unfortunately, this particular policy solution doesn't recognize anyone's God-given right to force the state to dispose of as much of their garbage as they please.
Yeah, since people apparently think they have the right to throw as much out as they want, my way only regulates how and where they can dispose of certain items. You can't dump toxic chemicals in your garbage.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Jul 13th 2011, 08:34 PM
Michael's Avatar
Michael Michael is offline
Administrator
Herder of Cats
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 14,835
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Yeah, since people apparently think they have the right to throw as much out as they want, my way only regulates how and where they can dispose of certain items. You can't dump toxic chemicals in your garbage.
My comment was facetious/satirical about the inherent difficulty of enacting good public policy solutions in US political conditions. Many good quality solutions get rejected out of hand (or are impossible to advance) simply because they give the appearance of 'the government regulating garbage' and thus get politically rejected.

Not much different than healthcare where the AHA has been trashed politically because it appears to look like 'government regulated healthcare' and thus is politically unpopular regardless of policy merit.
__________________
Remember what the dormouse said: Feed your head!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Jul 13th 2011, 10:41 PM
dilettante's Avatar
dilettante dilettante is offline
Moderator
Resident Historian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 3,082
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

What are recycling figures like for cities with single-stream, curb pick-up services? That's what we have in Philly and recycling everything that qualifies seems pretty much the norm (based on my personal circle).

I just wonder how much the problem might simply be the product of easy recycling not being an option. Where my in-laws lives, you have to sort it yourself and then drive it to special recycling centers...and the center for plastics is different from the one for glass which is different from the one for paper...etc. Unsurprisingly, hardly anyone there recycles.

Where operated effectively, even single-stream, curbside recycling doesn't cost the tax-payer anything (IIRC, it's actually a revenue stream for Philadelphia) because companies pay the city for the materials. It might be that simply setting up more and better-run recycling programs would make more of a difference (and be less intrusive) than adding an enforcement mechanism.
__________________
kyrie eleison
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Jul 13th 2011, 11:02 PM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
My comment was facetious/satirical about the inherent difficulty of enacting good public policy solutions in US political conditions. Many good quality solutions get rejected out of hand (or are impossible to advance) simply because they give the appearance of 'the government regulating garbage' and thus get politically rejected.

Not much different than healthcare where the AHA has been trashed politically because it appears to look like 'government regulated healthcare' and thus is politically unpopular regardless of policy merit.
Yes, I agree. That sort of "fascism" is much more palatable on the local level. Like ordinances about noise, and cutting your lawn, and what your new construction has to look like, etc.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Jul 13th 2011, 11:22 PM
Greendruid's Avatar
Greendruid Greendruid is offline
Resident Anthropologist
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Rural Nova Scotia
Posts: 1,628
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Our municipality finally graduated to the green bin system the year we moved out here (five years ago). We already had a separated recycling system in place for a decade or a little more. The funny thing is that my older neighbours still just burn everything if they have the land. Whatever isn't compostable goes up in flames, plastics and all! Not funny actually.

In April they brought out a law forbidding throwing out more than one green garbage bag per house - however, you can throw out additional bags ... get this ... as long as they're clear . I don't know if this is some kind of joke of publicly shaming people into recycling or what but it seems silly to me. One anal prof at our university actually complained about neighbours seeing his 'private' garbage. Idiot. Anyway, I don't know if the plan here is to graduate the system to the same one Michael's community has in place or to go some different route. I'll become more hopeful when the province's largest city has sufficient sewage treatment plants instead of dumping everything in the ocean!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old Jul 14th 2011, 01:08 AM
drgoodtrips's Avatar
drgoodtrips drgoodtrips is offline
Official Forum Geek
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,314
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
No they wouldn't. When I say sensibly enforced, I mean if there is clear, egregious violations, cite them. It's not a "check every time," it's an "if you get caught."

It shouldn't be treated as a revenue stream, it's simply policy prodding.

So would they not object if the price could be kept the same?



I wonder how efficiently that can be done, with the volumes of garbage we emit.

I imagine in the future, when we are truly starved for hydrocarbons and metals, dumps will be literally mined for non-degraded recyclables.
On the subject of "egregious violations" that makes more sense. I was thinking of a check every basket policy, but if you're just asking the garbage men to notice the house with cases of beer bottles in the garbage, that makes sense.

On the subject of "policy prodding", today's "policy prodding" is tomorrow's "revenue stream" (for precedence, see seatbelt checkpoints, DUI law, smoking taxes, parking tickets, etc, ad nauseum). I attribute this to the fact that things initially codified as law because of sensible policy become enshrined as matters of state sponsored morality, and, subsequently, society views relieving them of additional cash as "win-win" -- punishing evil and making money. I blame the US political environment rather than the individual policies, but that is the reality of the situation in our country.

As for efficiency of sorting garbage at the dump (or a processing facility), I'd imagine that this is less efficient than just dumping it somewhere, but more efficient than trying to do it en route. If that 3-D object "printer" is any indication, the process of recognizing materials is one that's already automated and would just require getting down to a price point that a green policy initiative could afford.

However, I was thinking that the most effective way to get what you're asking for in terms of US realpolitik is probably to raise taxes for up front capital and then offer incentives to people for turning in recycling. So, taxes go up, collection stays the same, and people are "rewarded" for doing well instead of punished for doing bad. It's exactly the same policy, but obfuscated behind the byzantine tax code, and the measure is much more politically palatable to most -- particularly if you claim that the tax increase is to pay for the military or something.

And, another random thought, but my experience in the Chicago suburbs is that recycling is ubiquitous. In my neighborhood the recycling containers are as big as the garbage containers and everyone puts them out regularly, generally as filled as the garbage. At work, we recycle. We recycle in variou public places. Interestingly, the only time in my life since I was a child that I didn't have recycling pick up was when I lived in Chicago proper. In my town, your policy idea would seem strange/irrelevant.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Jul 14th 2011, 09:45 AM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drgoodtrips View Post
And, another random thought, but my experience in the Chicago suburbs is that recycling is ubiquitous. In my neighborhood the recycling containers are as big as the garbage containers and everyone puts them out regularly, generally as filled as the garbage. At work, we recycle. We recycle in variou public places. Interestingly, the only time in my life since I was a child that I didn't have recycling pick up was when I lived in Chicago proper. In my town, your policy idea would seem strange/irrelevant.
It may be that I'm late to the game in this. I agree that recycling has certainly increased in my lifetime, and I see no reason that it will decrease. With ease of access, that should just continue. Perhaps that's what I should (in theory) be focusing on.

One thing I would REALLY like to do, and I'm considering actually talking to our city council about having a biodegradables pick up. Most people in my town actually probably have the land to compost (We don't ), but I doubt that even one in one hundred do. I'm not sure what the best way to go about it would be... I should probably research some other communities that have something comparable.
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Jul 14th 2011, 11:21 AM
drgoodtrips's Avatar
drgoodtrips drgoodtrips is offline
Official Forum Geek
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,314
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
It may be that I'm late to the game in this. I agree that recycling has certainly increased in my lifetime, and I see no reason that it will decrease. With ease of access, that should just continue. Perhaps that's what I should (in theory) be focusing on.

One thing I would REALLY like to do, and I'm considering actually talking to our city council about having a biodegradables pick up. Most people in my town actually probably have the land to compost (We don't ), but I doubt that even one in one hundred do. I'm not sure what the best way to go about it would be... I should probably research some other communities that have something comparable.
The compost angle is an interesting thought. I'd love to do that for the vegetables that I grow, but my condo association would have a fit.

On the subject in general, I remember watching an episode of Penn & Teller where they did an experiment about people's willingness to recycle. They basically told them they were from the city or something and that they'd now have to separate their garbage and recyclables into like 10 different containers. Almost overwhelmingly, people actually did this and didn't cheat.

I think people are often willing to do the right thing, if it's a relatively passive act. So, I'd imagine that your composting idea could be a winner, as people might not mind a third kind of thing to put out at the curb.

(Interestingly, the Penn & Teller episode was about recycling and how we recycle a lot of things where the recycling process creates more toxic byproducts than the 'recyclables'. I think this was filmed like 7 years ago and I can't exactly speak to their research, but it was a possibility that never would have occurred to me)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Jul 14th 2011, 11:55 AM
Donkey's Avatar
Donkey Donkey is offline
Official Forum Mascot
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 7,771
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

http://www.seattle.gov/util/Services...tion/index.asp

Looks like they have a curbside composting program in Seattle...
__________________
"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize."
Theodore Roosevelt
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Jul 14th 2011, 12:05 PM
MeMyselfAndI MeMyselfAndI is offline
Globetrotter
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Moscow, Russia
Posts: 6,453
Default Re: Mandatory recycling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
No they wouldn't. When I say sensibly enforced, I mean if there is clear, egregious violations, cite them. It's not a "check every time," it's an "if you get caught."

It shouldn't be treated as a revenue stream, it's simply policy prodding.
All law must be vigourously enforced. Otherwise, you'll end up like here: lots of laws but nobody bothers to adhere to most of them. We even have a saying "Legally you can't do that, but if you really want to, you should."



Like, it was illegal for drunk people to puke in stairwells and piss in elevators in our apartment building. But at the time we just had a old lady as concierge, and she obviously coul not do much. Now we've got our current doorman, a former paratrooper and former heavyweight boxer from Belarus, about two meters tall and with shoulders that barely fit through the doorways. Suddenly the drunk problem went away, as if on its own lol

Enforcement, mate. It is sad, but necessary.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008 - 2017, DiscussionWorldForum.com