Silent Minority Levies Huge Fines On Tennessee Residents - And Response (2)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, it shall be illegal to put aluminum cans and or plastic bottles in your garbage can. Fines start at $100 per violation to $5,000 per violation. This was reported under the outdoor section of Chattanoogan.com on Thursday.  Senate bill 941 and house bill 945 was signed into law by Governor Haslam on this date.  The Southeast Recycling Development Council were pleased that the governor took their side on this law.

This is the first I ever heard of it. Yet a majority of your elected officials have decided to monitor your garbage, with ticket book in hand, ready to bring down the heavy hand of the law on any of you elderly folks who accidentally drop a Mayfield's milk bottle in your garbage can. I say elderly, because, I am one and I for one would have a difficult time remembering that a pet 6 bottle can't be mixed with pet 4 plastics or something like that. I just don't think I can keep it straight. 

I wonder if any of those legislators who voted this in was out to dinner with those recycling council members who were so pleased to see this money grubbing law go into effect?  Like I said, first I heard about it, it's a law.

Harry Presley

Chattanooga

* * *

As ridiculous as this FTR (Failure To Recycle) notification sounds, it becomes exponentially so when you consider that glass, which is without doubt the most easily recycled commodity, is not picked up by curbside recycling. It's not allowed to be picked up. A vestigial appendage of the Littlefield Disappointment.

  This is so "Bloomberg-esque" it will be difficult, if not impossible to enforce. The "garbage gum-shoes" or the "discard dignitaries" will be out in force, surreptitiously shadowing municipal refuse collectors, pulling them over whenever a suspicious "crumple" is heard when the mighty grappling arm tilts and shimmies.

  How these stately trash-pickers propose to identify wanton and formidable transgressors without becoming ankle-deep in kitty litter and week-old banana peels is a curious conundrum. Taking this a step further, who will police the literally hundreds of thousands of public refuse receptacles around the state. Will the garbage gendarmes lurk around your campfire in public parks? Will Governor Haslam entreat the NSA to expand their illicit surveillance upon an unsuspecting public and gaze from space those who violate this near-felony offense?

  Will those who add broken knives, used and rusty razor blades, spent box cutters or tin can lids to their garbage bags then be considered dangerous contributing offenders because an Arian rubbish inspector cuts a pinky plying their way through your trash in an effort to indict you? Will whole families be harassed because they toss out empty-but-open maple syrup bottles (non-recyclable, of course) into each trash bag to deter this sticky privacy invasion? Perhaps leaving your trash bags in the sun for a week allowing the contents to truly ripen will inhibit anyone from applying for this prestigious inspection avocation.

  If you're already fraud-conscious and remove all identification from your magazines, periodicals and envelopes, how will the dunghill narcs identify your rejectamenta at the landfill? By finger-printing the mason jar in comparatively close proximity to the unconsciously discarded Double Cola can? And how will a judge convict anyone who simply claims no knowledge of the offending discard? That seems to work in Washington, these days.

  A corollary to "dumpster diver" has just been inducted into the American lexicon by the Tennessee legislature. Did they have foresight to include small business and apartment complexes, given the majority of small business do not separate their recycled materials. Will Waste Management become an unwilling collaborator if they fail to inform the literal litter lawmen for failing to snitch on offending business and apartment using communal dumpsters?

  Other states offer compensation for turning in recyclable materials. It might have dawned on our forward-thinking state representatives to try a carrot instead of first applying the knee-jerk stick. But I would be delusional imagining anything less of our state governing body than to take a chance of lessening the likelihood of diminished campaign contributions from PACs and environmental special interest. How could it be anything else considering the secrecy of this entire legislative (and unenforceable) act.

  I wonder what the going wage is for a trash-picker these days?

David D. Fihn, Sr. 

* * * 

Cutesy alliteration and meaningless hyperbole aside, it sounds like a couple letter writers don't wish to recycle. Thing is, almost any doofus can do it because I'm living proof. I have a separate can for plastics and such and every other Wednesday it gets picked up. You can go the the city website and search under recycling to get the details. 

No, they don't do glass curbside, but they do take it, as well as batteries, newsprint, cardboard, and other things at any of the five recycling centers around town. 

I'm not sure how this will be enforced, but if you recycle all of those beer and soda cans and plastic bottles (#1-#7) like I do, it really won't matter.  

Herb Montgomery
Hixson



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