City's weighing the cost of going green

Mar 6, 2009 | Posted by: nugeme | Full story: www.gastongazette.com

One Gaston County municipality provides recycling service for free while another is considering offering the practice to its residents for a fee.

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Since: Oct 07

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#1
Mar 6, 2009
 
I use the recycling service about once a month. I just don't have that much stuff that qualifies for the bin. But, I appreciate it. My question is - if this stuff is recyclable, then someone is paying for it to re-use it. Who is getting that money? Why is the city having to pay WM? I guarantee you they are selling the material to recycling companies and making money.

I probably would not participate if the city started charging a fee because I just don't need it that much.

With financial times like they are, it might be prudent to drop the program for right now with only 20% usage. We could pick it back up later when things are better.

“.”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont, NC

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#2
Mar 6, 2009
 
I guess I can see there being some cost associated w/ the pickup of recyclables -- my understanding of the process is that those who process and resell the materials don't pay very much/pound for the raw material.
Still, it's worth it...I'd pay an extra $2.50 on my water bill every month so my waste gets reused instead of taking 500 years to degrade in a landfill!!! But then again, I own a hybrid...what a hippy radical!
My response to only 20% of the population using the recycling service is not "let's drop it," it's "Shame on you, you lazy SOB's."

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#3
Mar 7, 2009
 
Thy Bard an opportunity for a young resourceful business person to be creative, provide a solution and negotiate a contract.

And that IS capitalism.

Just that simple.

http://www.valetwaste.com/turnkey.php

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#4
Mar 7, 2009
 

Judged:

1

I got a guy with three sizes of dumpsters, two trucks and a lay down yard. He'll rent them all.

I would much rather pay a resident than the Mafia-controlled trash industry.

Union Trash.

F*8King Scabs!
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#5
Mar 7, 2009
 
Nugeme you are right, with only 20% participation it would not make sense to continue the service unless W.M. was turning a profit. When Belmont’s 20% is combined with other communities the tonnage is probably very high. My question has always been that since I separate my trash (not to the degree that other communities are required to do) where is the incentive for me other than the warm fuzzy we get from doing so? If you were to just throw the recyclables into the trash W.M. would pick it up anyway. We (the citizens, participants) are providing the essential elements of purchasing the containers whether plastic or glass or paper and then separating them into a marketable commodity. If there was an incentive other than the “feel good” element participation would likely be much higher. To a certain degree they are saying you buy it you separate it “your trash” so we can re-sell it. Now do not get me wrong I am for recycling, it makes sense to do so. But I also think that the lack of a direct incentive to the citizen is evident in the percentage of those who participate. Also W.M. is charging a fee to us indirectly, the city passes the per household charge to each household whether they participate or not.
W.M is getting 100% participation in as much as there is no way to differentiate between who recycles and who does not,so everyone got the bin(s) so everyone is considered a participant as far as the fee is concerned and that’s a problem. They should bar code the bins so they could be scanned and bill the city based on that. If W.M. began being paid for the 20% who did participate they would probably cancel the service. The real money is in the fee, any recyclables they pick up along the way is a bonus.
nugeme wrote:
I use the recycling service about once a month. I just don't have that much stuff that qualifies for the bin. But, I appreciate it. My question is - if this stuff is recyclable, then someone is paying for it to re-use it. Who is getting that money? Why is the city having to pay WM? I guarantee you they are selling the material to recycling companies and making money.
I probably would not participate if the city started charging a fee because I just don't need it that much.
With financial times like they are, it might be prudent to drop the program for right now with only 20% usage. We could pick it back up later when things are better.
The Boss

Concord, NC

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#6
Mar 7, 2009
 
Where's the incentive? How about a healthy planet for your grandchildren?

Mt. Holly doesn't provide any recycling options other than taking it yourself...which I do every saturday...a bin of plastic, a bin of paper/cardboard and a bin for glass gets placed in the back of the car on my way to the grocery store.

Who needs anyone to pick it up? Do the right thing and take it yourself whether someone is picking it up or not.

Since: Oct 07

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#7
Mar 8, 2009
 
Boss- I don't think fussing at people will make them comply. I understand your sentiment, but it doesn't work. The real issue here is cost effectiveness - not whether it's the right thing to do. I think everyone on here agrees it right to do. It's use of taxpayer money that's the issue at hand.

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#8
Mar 8, 2009
 
Where's all the free market gurus touting how the market corrects everything. Cause in a True Free Market. The government would not be picking up trash. The "marketable commodity" would be incentive enough for the market to bring a participant with a solution for picking up the recyclables through value of the commodity less costs in production (collection & packaging).

Belmont needs a Salvage&Recycling Business.

Then, guess what, Government has no interaction other than collecting business taxes.

AND that is a free market solution.

“.”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont, NC

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#9
Mar 8, 2009
 
nugeme wrote:
Boss- I don't think fussing at people will make them comply. I understand your sentiment, but it doesn't work. The real issue here is cost effectiveness - not whether it's the right thing to do. I think everyone on here agrees it right to do. It's use of taxpayer money that's the issue at hand.
Nugeme, you're missing the point. If it's the right thing to do, what does money have to do with it?
If the city's hurting that much such that the fees from WM for picking up the recylables, than they can pass that along to the citizens -- I would gladly pay a measly two fifty a month.
Perhaps if people had some more visible, personal investment in the process (ie, paying for it), they would actually rub two brain cells together when they discard something and separate the things that need separated! For pete's sake, it's not that hard!!!!
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#10
Mar 8, 2009
 
Boss, I think if you read my entry I did say I support the concept of recycling. The point being other than being the right thing to do there is a cost incurred by the city for a service not everyone is using (20%), yet 100% of in city residents who received the bin(s) are considered actively participating. You may want to consider being "green with you tax dollars" as well as your trash. You take your recyclables yourself which is admirable. But remember you are incurring no fee direct or otherwise to donate your "marketable commodity", yet here (Belmont) the 20% are being charged as well as the 80% who do not participate. A healthy planet is something we all want to pass on to the next generation.
I agree with you 100% on that statement.
The Boss wrote:
Where's the incentive? How about a healthy planet for your grandchildren?
Mt. Holly doesn't provide any recycling options other than taking it yourself...which I do every saturday...a bin of plastic, a bin of paper/cardboard and a bin for glass gets placed in the back of the car on my way to the grocery store.
Who needs anyone to pick it up? Do the right thing and take it yourself whether someone is picking it up or not.
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#11
Mar 8, 2009
 
Bard you may be right, just allow someone to pick up the recyclables and do with them as they please. How hard is it to understand that we (Belmontians) are paying a direct fee for a service that all of us do not use? This is structured as a user fee, but it is being applied as a 100% compliance fee....when the Gazette reports a sparse 20% participation
BardDeBelmont wrote:
Where's all the free market gurus touting how the market corrects everything. Cause in a True Free Market. The government would not be picking up trash. The "marketable commodity" would be incentive enough for the market to bring a participant with a solution for picking up the recyclables through value of the commodity less costs in production (collection & packaging).
Belmont needs a Salvage&Recycling Business.
Then, guess what, Government has no interaction other than collecting business taxes.
AND that is a free market solution.

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#12
Mar 8, 2009
 
Richard, it is not Thy Bard being correct as is simply the invisible hand of the market is correct.

It is the basic tenet of fundamental capitalism. Society has needs that may be met by private enterprise solution.

It is "kinda" what we have now with Waste Mgmt, however it seems that their solution is not addressing the fundamental need, recycling.

A "different" enterprise solution would know to increase revenue then you have to increase recycling.

A marketing effort is all that is needed to increase participation. This assumption is based on the majority of people not being total shit-heads, just lazy which I feel comfortable with this assumption.

Obviously when a provider is not providing a needed service then the market creates the opportunity of another provider.

Its all about getting the word out and cash incentive should be enough for a true market solution.

Textbook Capitalism. And a good example of how private solutions do not have to have the Government as "middleman" such as a Toll Road.

Some people truly use Public/Private as a catch-word instead of its real definition.
Guido

Chesnee, SC

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#13
Mar 8, 2009
 
Bard, DUde - ditch the gut and bring back the @$$. I thought we might be on the road to becoming friends and now you do this to me?
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#14
Mar 8, 2009
 
Agreed in principle Bard. But the exposure to a free market in this instance is limited. W.M. is a corporate provider, the offer to collect will be made to no one else...other than the individual who collects from their pick-up truck, no fee incurred, end game satisfied...
BardDeBelmont wrote:
Richard, it is not Thy Bard being correct as is simply the invisible hand of the market is correct.
It is the basic tenet of fundamental capitalism. Society has needs that may be met by private enterprise solution.
It is "kinda" what we have now with Waste Mgmt, however it seems that their solution is not addressing the fundamental need, recycling.
A "different" enterprise solution would know to increase revenue then you have to increase recycling.
A marketing effort is all that is needed to increase participation. This assumption is based on the majority of people not being total shit-heads, just lazy which I feel comfortable with this assumption.
Obviously when a provider is not providing a needed service then the market creates the opportunity of another provider.
Its all about getting the word out and cash incentive should be enough for a true market solution.
Textbook Capitalism. And a good example of how private solutions do not have to have the Government as "middleman" such as a Toll Road.
Some people truly use Public/Private as a catch-word instead of its real definition.

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#15
Mar 8, 2009
 

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Guido wrote:
Bard, DUde - ditch the gut and bring back the @$$. I thought we might be on the road to becoming friends and now you do this to me?
If I squeeze it, it looks just like a a$$.
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#16
Mar 8, 2009
 
Bard, I differ from you in that I believe that marketing alone will not produce the revenues needed to sustain the effort. In a broader perspective mandatory compliance is the solution.
The critical question eventually becomes how to enforce such a proposal? The easy answer is for the recycling to occur at the reclamation point, but that cost money. Why incur this cost...?
BardDeBelmont wrote:
Richard, it is not Thy Bard being correct as is simply the invisible hand of the market is correct.
It is the basic tenet of fundamental capitalism. Society has needs that may be met by private enterprise solution.
It is "kinda" what we have now with Waste Mgmt, however it seems that their solution is not addressing the fundamental need, recycling.
A "different" enterprise solution would know to increase revenue then you have to increase recycling.
A marketing effort is all that is needed to increase participation. This assumption is based on the majority of people not being total shit-heads, just lazy which I feel comfortable with this assumption.
Obviously when a provider is not providing a needed service then the market creates the opportunity of another provider.
Its all about getting the word out and cash incentive should be enough for a true market solution.
Textbook Capitalism. And a good example of how private solutions do not have to have the Government as "middleman" such as a Toll Road.
Some people truly use Public/Private as a catch-word instead of its real definition.

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#17
Mar 8, 2009
 
Participation is the key. In order for increased participation the program must be expanded to a majority of the 9,000 households.

Now, why WM has not achieved a higher saturation? who knows other than them, what is the profitability of their operations? who knows.

But the fact is a service is not being utilized.

There is ample opportunity for a private business to produce a commodity of the recyclables.

Its free revenue to someone which would lead to the question of why is participation so low.

"We can't make people recycle."

But yet you can very nicely.

Shoe leather. Marketing campaign.

But the real question is how much did we pay Waste Management last year? A million bucks:(

I bet the City could take it over, finance of couple of them trucks and cut the budget in HALF.

Get prisoners at the COunty Jail to work for room and board. Cut it down three quarters.
Richard Turner

Rockingham, NC

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#18
Mar 8, 2009
 
Dollars, why would you encourage anyone to comply when you collect 100% of the fee for 20% participation. Effort implies cost, 80/20 split, why not? Who's paying? The offering to the community shows involvement, that’s reward in itself... right?
BardDeBelmont wrote:
Participation is the key. In order for increased participation the program must be expanded to a majority of the 9,000 households.
Now, why WM has not achieved a higher saturation? who knows other than them, what is the profitability of their operations? who knows.
But the fact is a service is not being utilized.
There is ample opportunity for a private business to produce a commodity of the recyclables.
Its free revenue to someone which would lead to the question of why is participation so low.
"We can't make people recycle."
But yet you can very nicely.
Shoe leather. Marketing campaign.
But the real question is how much did we pay Waste Management last year? A million bucks:(
I bet the City could take it over, finance of couple of them trucks and cut the budget in HALF.
Get prisoners at the COunty Jail to work for room and board. Cut it down three quarters.

“I Seek Not?”

Since: Aug 08

Belmont

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#19
Mar 9, 2009
 
That's the problem. If WM is just making money off the fee and not the recyclables then they have no motivation in collecting more. The failure of the capitalistic solution is in the value of the recyclables whereas the fee paid to the company is a socialist deterrent to collect.
The motivation to collect more recyclables must be tied to the value of those commodities.
If they say it's not enough. They are too inefficient in collection.
If we're paying a fee and letting them keep the recyclables without any motivation other than a feel good? That's the problem with the capitalistic equation. It is an unequal relationship which is exactly what I would think.
In a word? Socialism.

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