Diana Deal: Talking trash

January 4, 2013 

Talking trash

Every year, especially after Christmas, I am shocked and saddened by how much trash spills from residential curbside trash bins and the waste, the environmental burden and the cost. But then, why should we care about how much we throw away if everyone pays the same fixed amount for trash services, assuming we even know what that amount is?

Despite articles like the Dec. 29 “How to get rid of holiday waste,” some will continue tossing mountains of trash while others work hard to recycle, reduce, reuse and compost. Even though my family’s trash bin hits the curb only twice monthly, we pay the same amount for trash services as residents whose cans overflow every week. Essentially, conservation efforts subsidize others’ wasteful actions.

We can do better. Residents and elected officials could consider a fair and more sustainable pay-as-you-throw trash collection program. Only when we pay for our own trash will we throw away less. The environment will get a much-needed break, and the money localities save would go a long way toward paying for public services and creating local jobs. And the rest of us will pay only for our own garbage.

Diana Deal, Durham

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