Back Talk – Binghamton Blue Bags
Question From Sandy in Binghamton:
I live in Binghamton, with the green, now blue garbage bags. I thought the start of this was to collect money for the B-Mets stadium (maybe Im wrong, cuz that was a long time ago) the stadium is built and we are still having to buy them...my "blue" bags are going to the same place that all the other garbage bags are going. But we pay twice, once for the store bought garbage bags,to put in our cans, then for the colored bags, to put on the street..Please, this has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, and If I new the reasoning behind this, I might understand. Thank you!!
OK Sandy, I'm not sure who told you that the garbage bags the City Of Binghamton has you purchase were to pay for the stadium. Maybe a portion of them at one time was indeed to help with the bill. You are correct that the stadium is built and the blue bags you are buying has nothing to do with the stadium. It's actually a "pay as you throw" waste management and recycling system powered by your wallet. If you were living in an area where the garbage disposal was not handled by the city you would have to pay a monthly bill somewhat like your water, cable or phone bill to a private contractor to pick up and haul your garbage to the dump for you.
The City of Binghamton currently prides itself on it's recycling prowess and needs it's residents to do the work of separation. The blue bags you are buying reduce the waste stream and lessen the amount that local property taxes subsidize sanitation services. This is how it works: If you are paying for the bags, you are more likely to be unwilling to fill them up with waste that takes up more space a.k.a. air filled bottles and cans that could be recycled. Recycling is free. So the natural thing anyone would do is separate the waste making sure you don't "waste the blue bag" on objects that should be recycled.
Our Mayor has this to say about the blue bags: "It’s time we made our sanitation practices more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. These measures promise to incentivize better waste management, boost our recycling rate, reduce how much we throw away and lessen the amount that local property taxes pay for our waste collection services. I want to thank the Commission for informing our measures with its thorough research and analysis, and I thank the City Council for supporting these efforts." -Mayor Matt Ryan via http://www.cityofbinghamton.com/viewarticle.asp?a=3473
The other option that we all have is just keep it in regular bags and when you get a car full, take it to the dump yourself and pay for the disposal in weight. The cities option is most likely cheaper than a private companies bill and is better for the environment forcing you to recycle.
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