Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pay per trash

Smaller communities like Guelph-Wellington and Stratford have done it already, but next year Toronto is going to take a huge step to solving the garbage crisis: Pay per trash -- or at least, a version of it. Rather than paying for garbage collection as part of property taxes, families will now have to pay an annual fee to rent a bin from 120 L to 360 L -- or 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 bags per week. Those who opt for the smallest bin, 75 L, won't have to pay at all.

Personally, I like the Stratford model better -- buying tags that one puts on a garbage bag or bin so they can be picked up. This ensures equality of sacrifice from the poor to the stars on stage and turns garbage collection into a utility like electricity or public transit -- the more you use, the more you pay. No question pay per trash drastically increases recycling and compost participation which is precisely the point.

But the fact the Meeting Place is trying to clean up its act is a good move forward and making sure larger families as well as the wasteful pay up is a sign of progress. Less garbage means less leachate, less toxic waste -- and one less excuse for al-Qaeda.

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Freddie L Sirmans, Sr. said...

Just browsing the internet, you have a beautiful and very interesting blog.

Dan said...

My only concern about doing this in Toronto is that a big city generally affords one much more anonymity. In light of that, I wonder if we are going to see an increase in illegal dumping in ravines and parks.

BlastFurnace said...

Thanks for the kind words, Freddie.

And Dan, your concerns are shared by many -- but as I understand it Toronto, worried about this very problem as a result of the new policy, has jacked up the fine for littering in public areas such as parks and ravines to a minimum of $10,000 which should be a very strong deterrent.

zdubs said...

Hehe, don't be silly. There won't be less trash. It'll just be stored in people's houses till the law changes (and it will). And there will be more illegal dumping. The solution is source reduction. Your local lawmakers are taking you for a ride. Just a way to tax people in the name of the environment.