Monday, March 9, 2009

Is this the future with PAYT?

This air conditioner has been sitting in the middle of Turkey River off Iron Works Road for months now.
One of the many problems with programs known as pay-as-you-throw is that they often produce more pollution, random public dumping and littering, and a drain on resources as officials are out policing the program, instead of doing other things, more important things.
As it is, without pay-as-you-throw, public littering is still a problem. Walk along any of Concord's streets of late - well, not today, 'cause it's snowing outside - and you'll see random trash thrown just about anywhere.
Yesterday, I was on a walk with a friend along Iron Works Road and Clinton Street and saw all kinds of littering - beer and soda cans, beer bottles, in some cases, whole cases of them, paper bags full of whatever trash you can imagine, and at least one full trash bag, and an air conditioner sitting in the Turkey River along the border of the Cilley State Forest. We first noticed the air conditioner a number of months ago before the PAYT debate really started to gear up. And, it's still there.
Now, would could surmise that, Well, Iron Works Road is a random littering spot because there aren't many people who live there and it is a cut through for local teens trying to get from one spot to another. The litter isn't regular folks, one might say, it's probably just those kids throwing their beer bottles out the window.
Well, so? Public littering is public littering - whether it is kids not wanting to get caught by the cops or their parents with alcohol in the car or those same parents who are a bit behind on things and can't afford the bag tax!
What is so strange about seeing an AC in the river is that, I would assume, any resident could just drive up to the dump - ahem, excuse me, transfer station - and just drop it off there. Maybe there is a fee involved, I don't know, I've never had to drop off more than recycling stuff there and the station never seems to be staffed in all the years I've been going there. Why be so callous as to throw an AC in the river?
Sure, this isn't the same as public littering or not being able to pay or afford the bag tax. But the issue is the same or at least similar. And it would seem that public officials would want to do everything in their power not to have more littering than there already is in Concord. Instead, the bag tax is only going to cause pollution and, as a result, more filthy streets.
Before anyone gets critical about not telling public officials about the AC in the river for months note this: The city manager and state were emailed this morning about it. Why didn't we do it months ago? We wanted to see if anyone else would or how long it would take to get it out of the river. And it's still there.


Anonymous said...

What is disturbing is that someone went to the trouble--and risk--of driving to this bridge and throwing in the AC, an obvious illegal act. Will people like this think twice before dumping trash in woods, parks and parking lots to save $2 a bag?

How will Concord police this when they are already taking about deep cuts in services?

Anonymous said...

It is still in the river on March 16.