Columbus Punishes Residents for Recycling

For most Columbus residents this is old news, but it still irates me and I'd like to talk about it. Why on Earth did Columbus City Council vote to end subsidizing for the recycling program?

We recycle faithfully, admiring how we'd have to go two - three weeks before we could put out a full trash bin because of most of our trash being recycled. Then I hear that the council has voted and instead of paying $20 for 4 months of recycling pick-up, we would now have to pay $8.25/month!


Supposedly the program wasn't very successful with few taking advantage of the subsidized service so they cut it and replaced it with...Nothing. I honestly didn't see much advertising going into letting residents know the service existed. I wanted to start and went digging for the info on the city's horrid "city Web site." (Would it kill 'em to add a little design?)

Beyond the huge price hike, cutting the program has left people who are concerned, but unwilling or unable to pay for the increase. With gas sky high those of modest means are watching every dollar.

We now pile our recyclables into our car and drop them off at a city drop-off point on the way to our daughter's karate class. But there are plenty who aren't dedicated like us. They'll just quit...

A program Columbus should look to is what crazy Carty Finkbeiner has going on in Toledo, Ohio - residents are charged if they DON'T recycle.

Trash Rates Have Toledo Seeing Green

"When the current fee went into effect, the Finkbeiner administration predicted the rate of recycling would increase from 17 percent to about 40 percent because of the $2.50 monthly savings.

Thirty-eight percent of people are pledged to recycle while only about 28 percent currently do so, said Bill Franklin, the city's director of public service.

City officials said there has been resistance to the change, but think the new fee could alleviate that.

"My neighbor takes my papers over to Kroger's and that's what I've had most to recycle," Ms. Wumer said. "The rise in price to $10 was too much, so I have to do it."

"The recycling pledge cards that will entitle residents to a discount on the new $5.50 monthly trash collection fee have been flying out of stores and libraries where they were put on Friday.

"The kits went out as fast as they came in," Nancy Goldsmith, office coordinator for The Andersons at Talmadge Road and Monroe Street, said yesterday.

City Council last month established a $5.50 monthly refuse fee, with a reduced rate of $3 for people who pledge to participate in curbside recycling."

One of my reasons for refusing to move back to Toledo is that Columbus is far more progressive than my hometown. And now To-dol-leedo is blazing past us in this area. What's up with that Mayor Mike?

What ways are your city encouraging recycling? What successful programs do you think may work with Columbus?


bob.os said...

I'm going to skip out on doing the research here, but I believe that it is in the city charter that Columbus can't charge residents for garbage pickup. That service is covered by the city income tax.

If Columbus wanted to flip from free garbage to paid garbage (a-la Upper Arlington) it would require amending the city charter.


Ahh, thanks for the info Bob! Going to paid trash would probably mean the apocalypse for Mayor Mike. :0)

Rebecca said...

I have been recycling more faithfully every year. I can't seem to remember to take my own bags to the store yet. (the "Do I have my money? Where are my keys? Did I turn everything off" thing)

My parents once saw the regular truck taking their recycling years ago and it ticked my mother off so much she has never recycled since. Now when I cook over at their house I bring the recyclables I collect home with me.

YGG! Hope I can get as dedicated (organized) as you are one day!

The Insane Writer said...

We don't have a recyclable program here. However, the city does have a program where residents can get rid of big furniture, etc and it doesn't cost anything. City clean up.