I hadn’t realized that an ordinance requiring bbiodegradable bags for yard waste had been passed, but I like it.
Under the ordinance, the city will not collect yard waste in plastic bags, and will fine residents up to $2,000 for putting leaves and clippings in garbage bins.
Plastic bags, made from petroleum, are sturdy and easy to use, but are widely considered an environmental nuisance that can linger for centuries in landfills.
The newly mandated bags begin to decompose within six weeks and leave no harmful residue behind.
As part of the new effort, the city will send bagged leaves and clippings to Living Earth Technology Co. to turn the waste into mulch.
The company will sell the mulch and give the city 10 cents for every bag sold.
City officials predict that the change will result in the diversion of 60,000 tons of organic material from local landfills at an annual savings of $2 million in fees, or 10 percent of the city’s yearly budget for waste disposal.
It makes sense to me that the cost for dealing with this kind of waste gets passed directly to those who generate it. Everybody creates garbage, but not everybody creates this kind of garbage. Whether they respond by generating less of it – by using a mulching lawn mower and/or starting a compost pile, for instance – or by using the biodegradable bags, either way the city can save money and landfill space. It’s a win all around. Implementation has been pushed back till February 1 to ensure an adequate supply of the accepted bags, so make sure you’re prepared. I hope this is a sign that the city will begin to take more steps to create incentives for people to recycle more and throw away less, because there’s a lot we can do to improve on that score.