Free Dump Day
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:14:02 -0500

Hello Everyone:

I would like to know if what is happening around my region of the
country (So.California) is typical. Many landfills sponsor a "free
dump day" a couple of times a year. This is limited to residents (i.
e., non-commercial) and, naturally, non-hazardous waste (although I
do not know how closely this is monitored). It is my guess that this
is done to discourage illegal dumping, but I think that it also
builds in a lack of incentive to reduce and salvage discards. As
these events become more popular, people will tend to stockpile junk
until the day arrives, and then do a massive purge. Last year one
landfill alone took over 2,600 tons of "garbage" in one day from
event participants. It is my firm belief that landfill tipping fees
are already artificially low in California due to a false price
signal in the competitive market (i.e., we are not recovering full
costs). This fact, along with these "free dump days," are not
helping us in our efforts to try and build a waste
reduction/recycling infrastructure. Any comments? Am I missing
something here?

Dave Reynolds