Thursday, February 19, 2009

WHY RECYCLING MAY BE FISCAL IRRESPONSIBLY FOR BROWNSVILLE

I want to make clear there are Commissioners working hard to bring recycling to Brownsville, but it my be decades away unless mandated by the federal or state government.

My source has explained to me that the Brownsville City landfill is a positive cash cow for Brownsville. The next closest landfill is in Donna. Every surrounding city sends its trash to Brownsville. Every residential dump truck is charged based on volume. In the end whether it is Harlingen or Brownsville, money is paid to the landfill based on how much trash is being dumped.

My regular readers know I recycle everything -including the water in my dehumidifier. I water plants with the water. It takes me 4-6 weeks to fill one trash can with non-recyclable material.

Imagine if everyone recycled. The amount of trash which is dumped in the landfill would be cut in half. This would have a major impact on the revenues earned by the Brownsville City landfill.
At this point the question is - fiscal responsibility or environmental responsibility? If people were to find their PUB trash fee to double to make up for lost revenue at the landfill, they would demand heads.

Why is it Brownsville does not have the same problem with landfill waste as other cities? On Long Island you will receive a ticket if you do not recycle. In fact you pay a nickel deposit on all recyclable containers (it may have gone up since the last time I checked). Bottom line is, on Long Island and in most of the populated areas of NY there is no land left for landfill. In Brownsville there is land everywhere.

I will continue to recycle. I hope more and more people join the recycling movement. But I know all too well, people would rather put recyclable material in the landfill than pay a higher fee for trash pickup. This will be the case until the profit from recycling is higher than the lost revenue from reduced trash pickup.

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