Funy Psot

Yeah, right. We all know how lucrative the counterfeit trash bag industry is.

But that leaves aside the big issue — what the sam hell is a city doing forcing its residents to buy “official” garbage bags?

7 Responses to “Funy Psot”

  1. rpl says:

    Is this meant to be a rhetorical question? The bags are the mechanism for collecting the user fee for trash collection. Or is it the user fee itself that you object to?

  2. Mike says:

    I just pay for my trash collection by check.

  3. rpl says:

    How do they know how many bags of trash you put out? Do they count and itemize them on the bill? I think the point of programs like this is that it’s not really a “user fee” unless the fee is tied to use levels.

  4. mikedomi39 says:

    Official trash bags? What about the garbage? What if someone puts out of town garbage in a town trashbag?

    What a stupid idea.

  5. Mike says:

    Everywhere I’ve lived, trash has been a flat fee. The only exception was in Texas, where I had to take big things like sofas to the dump and pay an additional fee. They considered billing by weight when I was in Texas, but the conclusion was that it was more trouble than it was worth.

  6. rpl says:

    There is nothing wrong with flat-fee billing, but if you want people to reduce their landfill usage, then you have to charge them proportionately to the amount of garbage they put in. In Bloomington they used tags that you had to affix to any trash bag you wanted to have picked up, but a lot of places favor special bags because it is easier for the trash collectors to tell at a glance if you have the right bag. Bags also create a standard size for a load of trash, which ensures that everyone is paying for the same thing. Billing by weight would accomplish the same thing, but it isn’t really practical.

    For the most part, I think it’s a good idea. I prefer user fees to taxes wherever practical, and landfills are a huge externality. Getting people to internalize that cost is a good way to reduce waste. Unfortunately, it isn’t feasible to get people to internalize the full cost of landfill. Illegal dumping rises sharply as the price of collection goes up, and counterfeit bags are just another manifestation of that practice. Evidently our culture of entitlement includes throwing away as much trash as you want, costs be damned. How charming.

  7. Mike says:

    I honestly had never heard of all this. I guess it makes sense, though. The northeast is having landfill issues; the South isn’t. Penn and Teller did a whole episode on the landfill crisis and recycling that was a must-watch.