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Trash Business Going in Circles

January 21, 1996

Re: "Most Cities Meet Target for Trash Cuts," Jan. 8.

If the cities are again successful in reaching their new target of reducing trash dumped at the landfills by the year 2000 by another 25%, does this mean Orange County must import even more trash to offset the reduced trash-dumping revenue? And if so, once again, how does this prolong the life of the landfill?

Recall that importation was precisely the strategy the Board of Supervisors approved recently to offset reduced revenues due to successful trash recycling within the county. Or will the county residents have to pay even more per ton to deposit their trash to compensate for the reduced county revenues?

Alternatively, will the cost for county-imported trash have to be reduced further to induce more importing of trash, thus creating a yet bigger disparity between local and imported dumping rates? Oh, the cost of success and what counterproductive goals our politicians weave!

Who knows, maybe Orange County will find some other far-thinking county that will be willing to import Orange County trash at cheaper rates and we can complete the loop for "trash recycle" with everybody exporting their own!



* The state is awarding "anti-scavenging" grants to cities to catch scavengers who are searching for recyclables to turn in for cash. Before 1989, there was no state law to mandate recycling and by 2000, 50% of trash is to be diverted from landfills.

How did most items get recycled before this state law? Primarily by scavengers. And who are they? Primarily low-income people who are trying to survive on a fixed or limited income. Why is money being lost on recycling? Because supply exceeds demand.

I do not support my tax dollars being used to apprehend people who are working for a few hard-earned dollars. Spend the money instead on educating those who do not recycle and improving the market for products made from recyclables.



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