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IN EXCESS : Too Much of a Good Thing

January 09, 1994|Sharon Whitley

Sandra Boss recycles everything . "I have no trash," she says.

You might think that would have thrilled the city of Encinitas, which has had a mandatory recycling ordinance since 1992. Instead, it landed her in bureaucratic hot water.

Her saga began in July of 1992, when Boss, a retired nurse, tried to cancel her $16.79-a-month trash service. But city health codes mandated a weekly trash pickup or a trip to the dump, so she took her case to the City Council. After months of back-and-forth phone calls, she was told early last year that she could indeed quit paying her trash bill--if she'd attach dump receipts to the bill.

She pressed her case for another six months, and the city finally told Boss to pay up or face a lien on her property.

Boss then found "a little sentence" in the city codes that allows recycling services as an alternative to trash pickups, and with some help from the mayor, a greener path was cleared. Now Boss saves her recycling receipts and clips them to her bill.

The only drawback to her fight with City Hall: The local publicity "has made me look like the Mother Teresa of recycling."

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