Apparently, Centerville put a deadline on when people were allowed to “opt out” of the recycling program. I don’t remember them doing so and assume that I missed the news report stating such (at least, I hope they publicized that fact). A few weeks ago, I warned Farmington residents about a similar deadline on their so-called voluntary program. For those in Centerville, you will now have to beg the Mayor for his good graces in allowing you to opt out of the program and it’s associated fee:
As for city officials, they’ll be using August to review the cases of residents who said they weren’t around to opt-out during the city’s official opt-out period (held from April 20 to May 27). The mayor will be going over each letter asking for special dispensation on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not they’ll be allowed to opt out late.
“He’ll decide whether they have a legitimate reason for not being able to make the deadline, like they were out of the country,” said Lutz. “In each case, it will be up to the mayor to make the final decision.”
Realistically, the Centerville program is closer to a mandatory program than anything voluntary. You had to meet a deadline and there doesn’t appear to be any provision for new residents to have a choice. Effectively, it’s like being told that you have been signed up for a magazine and money is automatically charged whether you want the magazine or not. Normally, that ends up with Consumer Protection or BBB involvement, but not when it comes to government, apparently. Further, you have no trial period with the program and no means of redress if the service is bad or you just don’t want it anymore (hence why I’ve called this a government-mandated monopoly in the past).
West Bountiful residents, despite the economy and struggling families, be warned that the Mayor appears to want to “keep up with the Jones” (this is not the first warning either). Don’t be duped by the “voluntary” spin. It is simply not the case. Note, too, that the survey cited in the article didn’t seem to ask residents if they wanted a required program that charged them each month (plus the majority appears to indicate they wanted a fully voluntary program with a recycling depot).
For more information on local government-recycling programs that I’ve covered, click here.