Wednesday, March 14, 2007

There?s better way to recycle

Sun Valley Ordinance 384, "mandatory garbage separation and recycling," will likely be made into law March 15. It requires all city residents and guests to segregate their garbage neatly into seven piles and many receptacles. It is a hot and nasty issue and will cause a lot of ill-will, dissention and hassle. It imposes a lot of inconvenience and impracticality while insulting all the people of Sun Valley with criminality. The insult is a $300 fine and 6 months jail time for each day, cumulative, of not sorting your garbage. (A month of bad-garbage days could bring a $9,000 fine and quarter of your lifetime in the new Blaine County clink.) Maybe the city looks at the garbage fines as replacing the lost income from a reduced Local Option Tax—kind of like a municipally sanctioned speed trap.

There is a better and simpler way, as is already being practiced in many cities.

Instead of Ordinance 384 and all its machinations, arcane intricacies, and criminality, simply require Sun Valley's garbage collectors to use a Garbage Processing Center (GPC) to separate and recycle the garbage. Garbage collection companies bidding for Sun Valley's monopoly garbage collection would have cause to establish, staff, and operate such a facility. Garbage collection at homes, condos, apartments, and businesses would remain the way it is, and has historically been done. The collected garbage would be taken to the new GPC, and all the separating and recycling work would be done there.

The garbage collection companies would recover their GPC costs by increasing garbage collection charges to all their Sun Valley customers. That is no different than the new costs for and to service the thousands of new additional sized-containers required all over the city of Sun Valley in Ordinance 384.

Once such a GPC was established, it would be easy for Ketchum and Hailey and the rest of the county to get on board "to adopt a comprehensive recycling program" (Ordinance 384 wording in quotes), without the hassle and ill-will that a type Ordinance 384 imposes on their citizens. Ketchum, Hailey et al could simply require that their garbage collectors, otherwise still operating as usual, also utilize the GPC. There would be no impact on individual garbage producers other than a small increase in their garbage collection fees.

The Sun Valley city government should trash Ordinance 384 and go for the simpler, better, more promising and widely used system proposed, which is truly "in the best interests of the citizens of Sun Valley."

Milton Adam

Sun Valley

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