Re: curbside
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 10:02:07 EDT

I've been away and unable to respond until now.

McGowan , I believe that you are confusing issues here. I am talking about
throw-aways and incentives for recycling, not incentives for purchasing
products with recycled content.

However, I do believe that the challenge of recycling in the 21st century is
to get people to think about their buying habits. I dont think people think
about packaging when they make a purchase. PAYT offers an incentive for
shoppers to think about what they are buying, and change buying habits to
accomodate the local recycling system. If my town does not take juice
containers, maybe I'll buy juice concentrate in an aluminum can.

We have 10,000 choices in the grocery, why not add recyclability to the mix?
And how can we do that? By affecting the "household bottom line."

Furthermore, this process opens up other avenues of lowering overall
environmental impact. For example, to make recycling easier, people may
choose more simply packaged items. I.e., something packaged just in a bag is
easier to dispose than something in a tray, in a wrap and then in a bag.
Assuming that quality remains the same, the lower packaged material may
become the preference.

Others have sufficiently addressed the issue of PAYT as a user fee system. I
share your concerns about how a fellow on $16,000 per year salary can "make
it," but I don't think PAYT will have such a great impact in the negative,
in-fact, I believe it could have a positive effect. The reducing the
overall monthly disposal fee burden.

Jesse White
Resource Management Group, Inc.

In a message dated 10/07/1999 12:30:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< What Jesse fails to mention is that PAYT is an incredibly REGRESSIVE tax
on the poor, who can ill-afford products that are specially packaged in
recycled-content packaging. One of the great ironies of the recycling
movement is that political forces that created government prefernec
programs put aboslutely zero effort into making sure that recycled content
products get preference when they are cost competitive. Since there is no
incentive to lower prices of recycled content packaging--why should
manufacturers give up a profit the government is creating set-asides
for?--the cost of recycled content material is often more expensive than
virgin materials

William P. McGowan
UCSB History/Rincon Recycling
805-240-3448/805-658-6526-FAX >>