Paying for your trash?

by Staff on December 29, 2007 · 12 comments

in Local

I’m curious what you folks would think about paying for disposal of your trash. This is just a hypothetical, so don’t freak out (just yet).

Here’s how the plan is laid out in my mind:

  • The City would provide a location for drop-off of trash and recyclables. It should be open two days a week (11am-7pm on Saturday and one weekday). Operation would be supervised by a City employee during open hours.
  • The City would cut back trash pick-up to once per week. The City would provide pick-up of both trash and recyclables at the same time. Pick-up of recyclables would be free, trash would not.
  • Households would be required to pay $0.50 per bag of trash picked up by the City. For each bag of trash dropped off at the City provided location, the cost would be $0.25.
  • The fees would be collected by the sale of “stamps” or “tags”, available at numerous locations throughout the City (City Hall, grocery stores, gas stations, etc.).

There are numerous benefits to a program like this, including:

  • City employees who are responsible for trash pick-up would be devoting 50% less time to that task, thus making them available to work on other tasks.
  • Increased recycling by citizens, do I need to mention the environmental benefits?
  • Revenue generated for the City

At the time of the 2000 census, there are 1,884 households in Mitchell, according to Wikipedia. Now, let’s make a few assumptions. Let’s assume that each household would dispose of one bag of trash per week, half of them dropping the trash off at the City-provided facility, half of them utilizing the pick-up services of the City.

Per week, a total of 1,884 bags of trash would be disposed of: 942 picked up by the City (at a cost of $0.50 each) and 942 dropped off (at a cost of $0.25). Each week, the City would generate revenue of $471 dollars (pick-up) and $235.50 (drop-off), for a total of $706.50 per week. Over the course of a year, that’s a total of $36,738.

What could the City do with an additional $36,738 a year? Would you be more likely to recycle? What are the drawbacks to a program like this?

Let me know what you think about this in the comments.

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