Simply put, I’m tired of our City encouraging wasteful behavior, and the biggest problem starts with the residential trash service. In order to improve our quality of life and promote a more sustainable future (focused on zero waste), I would implement several changes.
1) Tiered pricing for garbage collection. The City already offers 3 different size containers for residents, but the price for each is the same. Start everyone with the smallest size, and if they need a larger size container, then charge more. [Speaking of charging more, our trash fees are ridiculously low so I would increase them across the board to start.]
2) Switch the garbage collection and recycling collection schedules. Garbage should be picked up every other week and recycling should be a weekly thing.
3) Implement residential compost pick-up. The Charleston Green Plan notes that up to 40% of waste going to landfills is organic matter than can be composted. By implementing a compost pickup program, people will have less garbage, which will be more appropriate for a biweekly schedule as noted above.
4) Stop the weekly trash pickup of large items. The fact that one could throw out a mattress or couch each week and the City picks it up without any problems is absolutely ridiculous. I would designate 2 days a year (one in Spring, one in Fall) when people can put out large items for pickup at no cost. If you need something large hauled off outside of these days, take it to the dump or call it in to the City for a special pickup for a fee.
By offering unlimited weekly pickup of trash and garbage (with limited to no service for recycling and compost), the City is completely encouraging people to waste more and conserve less – even though everyone knows we need to do better.