When Mandates Are Not Optional

I generally do not favor government action that places a mandate on citizens. I don’t believe that it is the place of government to decide whether citizens should recycle or not, but if the options are between mandatory recycling and no recycling option after the citizens have overwhelmingly favored optional recycling it makes sense for the city to choose mandatory recycling. This appears to be the case in Bountiful.

The motion to proceed from Council member Beth Holbrook rescinded the “opt-in” proposal passed May 27.

Reasons cited were a change by Allied Systems, the previously chosen provider. It wanted a guaranteed minimum participation level and a four-year contract, and would start charging the city to maintain the 200 West recycling bins, at an estimated cost of $30,000-$35,000 each year.

With a  price-tag of $3 per month I don’t think we’ll see too much protest over this. Of course my position might be affected by the fact that I have lived with mandatory recycling in Lehi for a few years and I liked it. We generally had more recyclable trash than we did regular garbage so I thought the service was very worthwhile.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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6 Responses to When Mandates Are Not Optional

  1. Davis Didjeridu says:

    Don’t believe the “overwhelming majority” argument Fred Moss made. The poll he refers to was a self-selecting poll consisting of individuals who mailed it in with their utility bills or phoned into to the city offices. It was not representative and not scientific. Additionally, the question in that poll specifically contained the premise that Bountiful would continue to provide the drop-off recycling bins. Given that the city is abandoning that instead of paying for the service, the premise of the “poll” has changed. As a Bountiful resident, I am overjoyed that this program passed, though I am sure it will not be as mandatory as it could be.

  2. David says:

    Thanks for that added insight.

  3. Tom says:

    If you want participation in a recycling program, do what King County (Washington) did… issue smaller garbage cans, and jack up the fees for excess trash…

  4. David says:

    I guess we call that a not-so-subtle incentive.

  5. Reach Upward says:

    That’s what they have in Seattle now: the trash police. Sanitation workers are now given police powers to ticket those evil people that produce too much trash. Never mind the fact that over 85% of what they ‘recycle’ ultimately ends up in landfills anyway, but at a much higher cost.

  6. David says:

    I’m sure glad I live in the land of the free where we are responsible for our own choices so long as we don’t choose to smoke, make too much garbage, eat trans-fats, or any other thing that goes against some crusader.

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