Okay, so prompted by several comments, i wanted to mention an idea I've been chewing on. Like Amy and Missy, I've been more aware of the amount of waste we produce. We recycle, as do most folks on our street and that's wonderful. But everyone of us fills up the large city issue trash cans each week.
I think that if there were no landfill, and each person had to keep their garbage on their own property (much like it would've been in the not too distant past) we would all be a lot more sensitive about the waste we produce. But as it is now, I'm basically throwing my trash into someone else's backyard. Out of sight, out of mind.
Practically speaking, i think landfills are a necessity. I just don't see any practical way around them. But I think the city could do a better job of making us aware of the impact of our waste. They can't make me keep it in my back yard, but they can hit me in my wallet. We already pay a flat fee for trash removal. Why not charge us per pound of trash? The city already uses a mechanical arm to lift the trash into the truck. I don't think it would be too hard to add a mechanism to weigh the refuse and a computer to track the address.
Now, I'm generally not for motivating people in this manner. In fact it's a little self-centered and pragmatic. I would prefer that my heart be persuaded more by faith and conviction than by a little greed. But when we talk about instituting policies that govern a society, I'm all for a little prudent manipulation.
Think about it. If you new you could reduce your trash bill $10 a month by composting, recycling more and by buying products that used less packaging, wouldn't you?
I find it hard to believe that such a simple idea hasn't been proposed and even implemented in other communities. Please tell me if it has and how it has fared.
Still working on Part II