North Salt Lake To Approve Mandatory Recycling, Monopoly

From the Clipper:

Though an official resolution hasn’t yet been presented for approval, the North Salt Lake City Council recently decided to go ahead with an opt-out curbside recycling program that is likely to start sometime after the beginning of next year…

City staff hope to have an official resolution in front of the council for their Oct. 6 meeting, with certain details worked out such as whether the city should buy its own containers and whether to give resident a 30 or 60 day window to opt out.

But you can opt out, you say.  As I have stated previously:

North Salt Lake residents should not be fooled into believing that an opt-out provision makes the program voluntary.  As shown by local examples, the opt-out is more a gimmick than an actual option – residents are only given a limited time frame to opt-out (assuming they know about the dates to do so and properly jump through the hoops), those missing that opening must then beg the mayor to let them opt out, and new residents (or residents moving to a new home within the city) don’t seem to be given the option since the opt-out time period has closed.  Even if you do opt-out, you may still be forced to pay for recycling.

I also noted that this type of program really goes beyond being a gimmick.  Imagine if a business sent you a letter stating that they had signed you up for their product at a cost of $5/month.  If you did not want that service, you would need to ‘opt out’ by filling out their form (which was not included in their mailer) within a set number of days.  A private enterprise would end up on the wrong side of consumer protection laws and agencies as well as the BBB.  Yet if you are a government…

It should also be noted that the program also effectively creates a local monopoly that enjoys governmental enforcement.  Advocates has stated that people don’t recycle unless it is convenient.  That implies that interest and a market for curbside services exist.  If that is the case why not opt to offer that service to interested parties rather than forcing it upon all through governmental dictate?

NSL residents, can still contact their city council and mayor (and attend the October 6th meeting).  If it is passed, I’ll try to keep an eye out for the opt-out form, when it becomes available.

More posts on recycling.

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