Currently, we all pay the same for trash pickup. You got a week's worth of smelly diapers, 15 Amazon boxes and some ham hock leftovers? That'll be $8.18 a month. You're a No-poo freegan that composts all her leftovers and knits her clothes from sweaters found on her dumpster dives? Sorry Willow, that's still $8.18 just for having an 87 zip code.
But if the Mayor gets his wish, we'll pay the same for a new, smaller trash bin. Or you can pay $4.50 more a month to keep your larger bin and toss 96 gallons of what ever non-toxic (diapers permitted) hard and soft matter you don't want on your property anymore.
The proposal includes a new transfer station in town to reduce the amount of travel time emptying trash trucks. Ostensibly if they are collecting less trash they'd be making less trips too. But less trash should mean more recycling so that travel time should increase. Plus the city needs to make the initial investment in the smaller, 48 gallon carts. Accounting costs should rise too now that we need to keep track of who uses what bin. I feel new 'admin costs' comin'.
” This creates a direct economic incentive to recycle more and to generate less waste,” from the Albuquerque Journal today. It also creates a direct economic incentive to throw trash in the recycle bins, non? Or perfect something called the "Seattle Stomp" - smashing down your trash so you can fit more inside.
Psychologically though, Albuquerque seems to be doing it backward. We should have started with smaller bins in the first place. Then having to spend the extra money AND effort for larger cans might have kept a few couch-bound. But now we're all used to the 96 gallon behemoths and it doesn't sound like a big deal to pay a few dollars more to keep it.
What might help is a city composting campaign like that in Boulder and other awesome but cost-prohibitive hippie towns. Albuquerque certainly has the real estate for a giant pile of rotting matter. If San Francisco and Seattle can find a place to dump hundred of thousands of tons of veggie peels, then the Duke City can certainly figure it out.
The hubs and I talked about it this morning and we like the idea. I do the trash every week and our bin is never full. I'm not saying I won't Seattle Stomp my new bin after a birthday party, but I'm willing to give it try. And I can think of another benefit - my four-year-old can more easily drag a 48 gallon cart to the curb over our current 96er. One less chore for Mommy.
It's not all a happy love-fest for Mother Earth of course. Mayor Berry is a Republican after all. But that's what makes it a unique subject. Lefties love it because it's earth-friendly. Middies (or we'll just say Libertarians) like it because it promotes personal responsibility. And Righties like it because it brings in more revenue - both from the hold outs that don't want a smaller bin AND the recycling revenue it gets when more people use the blue or green bin versus the black. Can we all just move in for a big hug?