Wednesday, July 09, 2008


In a perfect world I'd be behind a "pay per bag" kind of thing for trash collection, but it's a bit problematic in a city which also has a general "trash on the streets" problem due to poor policies in other areas (not enough public trash cans, not enough street cleaning, etc.). Perhaps free up to a point, and then charging for extra, might work.

But I was struck by this.

Williams, the department's commissioner, said that Philadelphia would likely save money if it recycled more waste. He said that the city currently pays $62 to dispose of a ton of rubbish - typically to a landfill or an incinerator.

Meanwhile, the city earns $38 for every ton that is recycled.

If the goal really is to encourage more recycling - and it really does make money for the city (something I hadn't realized) - the can do a lot more in the carrot department before they bring out the stick. It's gotten a bit better, and the move to citywide single stream has been an improvement (as will citywide once per week recycling when it happens), but generally the public education and distribution of recycling bins has been rather poor.

...adding, and they could certainly start with public recycling receptacles which are pretty much (totally?) nonexistent.