Forum editor weighs in on possible city disposal fee

Stepha Poulin and Stepha Poulin

Protecting the environment can bring forth some heated debate. Overall, Bowling Green is an environmentally conscious city; it is reflected in the city’s legislation. Recently, City Councilman Daniel Gordon voiced his concerns about how state budget cuts threaten the city’s environmental initiatives.

Paul Garbarino, city editor for The BG News, covered Councilman Gordon’s concerns in a recent article.

“We are in this because of the state of Ohio,” Gordon said.

A $13 monthly disposal fee could be imposed onto homeowners opting out of recycling services. If passed, the fee would cover deficits in the city’s budget due to state budget cuts.

However, some may question if residential recycling programs are even worth the effort. Despite complaints about the fee, it may encourage citizens to recycle.

Even if only a portion of citizens recycle, a great deal of resources are saved. According to the University of Utah, the United States spends over $100 billion on waste disposal each year. The average person creates two tons of trash in one year.

This has led garbage disposal centers to sort recyclables out of waste on their own, which costs the consumers more money overall. By recycling, citizens save money on the disposal of non-recyclables which must be taken to a dump.

In my opinion, the city’s proposed fee simply reflects the cost of disposing and sorting through waste looking for recyclables.

Some may argue that recycling still isn’t worth it. Statistics say otherwise. For example, the energy used to create one new aluminum can is equivalent to the energy used to recycle 20 aluminum cans.

There’s also the issue of corporations doing their part in recycling. Many argue that civilian trash production isn’t the issue, since corporations create much more waste than the average citizens.

Additionally, there are families that may have some financial trouble due to this fee. Those who have a certain level of income should qualify to waive the fee if needed. While $13 a month may not seem like much, it could be the difference between eating dinner or starving.

In the end, you shouldn’t use another person’s (or corporation’s) actions to justify your own. Humans are the only animal that pollutes the environment with excess waste, unless you count methane from critter farts.

Considering the level of sentience we humans credit ourselves with, we should take some accountability for the earth.