View Full Version : In culture shift, Berkeley seeks recycling fee

03-29-2010, 11:53 AM
Berkeley wants to start charging households and businesses a recycling fee, a move that would end an era in which the city, yearning to encourage recycling, charged only for garbage.

With less trash going into the garbage can, people are shifting to smaller can sizes. That is putting less money in city coffers - even after a 20 percent garbage rate increase last year. But the recycling and composting services once billed as free continue to grow.

"Our (garbage) fee is oversimplified and idealistic," said David Tam, a Berkeley resident and a longtime recycling and reuse activist. "It just needs to be fixed."

Berkeley's fee proposal comes as Alameda County cities face a goal of diverting 75 percent of their waste from landfills by the end of this year. In an imagined future of little or zero waste, curbside pickup fees tied solely to the amount of garbage have a problem.

"All of a sudden, we're picking this stuff up for zero money," said Ken Etherington, the city's solid waste and recycling manager. ...

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/29/BA7V1CK8DE.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0jZrkxzqq

03-29-2010, 12:13 PM
Brings to mind one of the gas taxes. I'm not sure if it was a national or state tax, but they raised the gas tax in order to encourage conservation but when the gas price got to high during the last storage and people started driving less they raised the tax again because they weren't taking in enough money. It was then the everyone realized that the tax wasn't about conservation, that was just a ploy the government used to explain it to people. It was really about raising money which was what people finally figured out.

03-29-2010, 12:18 PM
They do the same thing with water rates out here. Between May and Halloween all you here is the 'conservation' drumbeat. So, people switch to xeriscape and they water much more efficiently and they use a lot less water.

This panics the water companies and they jack up the rates every year. :mad:

03-29-2010, 01:12 PM
Anyone one to bet that when they realize that people aren't recycling because of the dual fees that it become illegal not to recycle?