Now, it’s North Salt Lake’s turn to “keep up with the Joneses” and put placing another special interest fee burden on residents: NSL looking into curbside recycling.
The linked article notes that “the decision is still a long way off.” However, be warned that government (especially City Councils) can move quite rapidly when they think citizen attention is diverted.
I’ve discussed the curbside recycling boondoggle extensively. Here is a quick summary of the problems with such programs:
- Mandatory recycling programs take funding away from charities
- Financial burdens are disproportionately increased on those on low/fixed incomes (including young families)
- Financial burdens are increased on the community as a whole, during an economic downturn
- A government-mandated and enforced private company monopoly is established
- A small special interest group benefits through government intervention and imposition on the majority
Click here for a list of posts discussing the above points and the recycling issue in greater detail.
As usuall, advocates will assert that it is only a little fee and really doesn’t cost much. Don’t let them drag you into that trap. It is a common special interest tactic, effectively discussed by Milton Friedman and highlighted here. Feel free to read the brief synopsis on the tactic – this will not be the only time you see (or have seen) it used.
Remember, another fee, no matter how small, only adds to all of the tax and fee increases we’ve seen over the last several years and provides for more government control of your money.
A final warning. Cities, have tried to smooth things over by passing opt-in programs only to quickly vote to make them mandatory when citizens thought the issue was resolved (Bountiful is the classic case – see the “move quite rapidly” link above). It would be much better to keep the government completely out of this issue. Those who wish to have curbside recycling can form an association of sorts and contract with a provider themselves or do so individually (as is already the case, for many).
If you are a North Salt Lake resident, contact the Mayor and City Council. Make sure your voice is heard. I guarantee you that the special interests and recycling companies will make sure theirs is heard loud and clear.
Lastly a couple of canards from the Clipper article:
Under “Possible benefits of a city program” – “Increases factory jobs through the recycling companies”.
Are you kidding me? In other words, lets have government subsidize and force you to pay for private, non-essential services just for the sake of false job creation. The free market would not sustain such a job, so lets just make people pay for it anyway. Let’s go for a more command-economy approach. Seriously?
Another option offered was opt-in recycling, which Walkenhorst said would need at least 20 percent of the city’s residents to sign up in order to get off the ground. Reaching this number is generally seen as a challenge by cities, particularly within the Waste Management system where people wouldn’t then be allowed to opt out again after they’d signed up. [emphasis added]
I, actually, love how truthful this statement is. The reason cities went for the mandatory fee – not even 20 percent were willing to sign up. In other words, under 20 percent of a city’s population, with city council help can (and has in many cities) successfully raise fees on the other 80 plus percent. Talk about special interest rule.