Friday, June 12, 2009

The Great Yard Waste Debate

This week, as in the past, I left my yard waste on the tree lawn, in two large brown paper bags designed for that purpose. However, unlike in times past, the city did not remove them. Instead, a notice was stapled to one of the bags, stating that they were not taken because yard waste must be in city bags, available at many local hardware stores. A and I were quite annoyed about this - for all intents and purposes, the bags are identical - the only difference is the printing on them.

This monring, on my break, I called up the Shaker Heights Department of Public Works to enquire as to why one must use the city bags. I was told that the additional cost was to help defray the cost of the additional pickup, separate from regular waste collection.

This makes some sense. I like that, unlike many user fees, it does not tend to disportionally affect those with lower incomes. People with less money tend to live in houses with smaller yards and correspondingly less yard waste. In a city where large lots were available at more reasonable prices, I might feel differently.

I also like that it incentivizes people to compost more and generate less waste.

However, I have not heard of another municipality in the area that charges to remove standard yard waste. The cost is minimal, for sure, but given that we already pay such high taxes, one might think that this would be included. As the cost of the bags is nominally to cover the cost of pickup, I might feel differently if it was possible to drop off yard waste at some central location.


A. said...

Now...if they need the money why do they allow you to just dump your junk on the tree lawn sans bag? That makes no sense considering it seems to be the option most of our wealthier neighbors choose.

Neighmond said...

That's when you load it all into a pickup, drive twenty miles out of town, and put the endgate down and go to beat hell.