The Green Police Strike

Oh how the post consumer recylables turn.  Word comes out of several cities across the country that have started to track how people recycle in a rather invasive way.  Cities are using technology to track individual bins to see what people are up to.  These are the same chips that are used to track cattle in the field, so you do the math on this one.

No doubt you remember the parody ad during the Super Bowl from Audi that featured the “Green Police” dragging people away for not recycling.  We all laughed because we knew just how preposterous it was.  Or was it?  Now we have seen reports of people that are actually being fined for not recycling their garbage.  The City of Cleveland, Ohio is raising a fine of $100 per person who doesn’t do it.

Now, I’m all for cleaning up after yourself and recycling when you can, but when you make it mandatory, you are crossing the line between common sense and freedom.  It is simply common sense that we take the time to clean things up and if it works out, recycle what we have.  However, no one can force me to do that.  It is my choice.  Now, that choice is being taken away.

I think the real problem here is that recycling isn’t made easy.  Instead of coming up with a way for you to do it without too much thought, there are restrictions and other things that you have to wrestle with.  At one point in my life, we could recycle, but it was only glass or a certain kind of plastic.  You could also recycle newspaper, but you couldn’t put it in the same bin as the glass or the plastic.  You also had to pay for the privilege of doing so.  Each bin cost you money, then it cost you more to have someone haul it away.  Meanwhile, we see that municipalities are making money on recyclables and you can begin to see why people just don’t do it.

Obviously recycling is something we all ought to be more concerned with, but we need to encourage it in a way that benefits everyone. You need to make it a positive thing to recycle.  No more of sending out the green police and fining people that don’t do it.  Instead you need to make it easy and lucrative to have indivduals take the time to do it.  If you told me I could get money off my trash bill or actually get paid for recycling my cans and bottles, you would see them at my curb every week.  If I have to pay just for the privilege of recycling, sorry but I have other things that I need to spend money on.

We all have a right to freedom and some privacy so we need to tell the government, “Hey, get out of my trash!”