Saturday, May 08, 2010

Are Trash Police in Delaware’s Future?

So reads the breathless headline in a release two weeks ago from the Caesar Rodney Institute.
Its author, David T. Stevenson, described as a senior fellow of the Center for Economic Policy and Analysis at the Caesar Rodney Institute, doesn’t let up in the second paragraph:
Delaware Senate Bill 234 doesn’t authorize fines or enforcement on individuals, yet.
Actually, the bill doesn't authorize fines or enforcement on individuals, period, full stop. To suggest otherwise is sheer sophistry.
The analysis publishes some numbers based on the performance of old programs that do not benefit from the efficiencies and economies of scale that universal single stream curbside recycling has achieved across the country. The author uses the DSWA's current recycling costs and concludes that it represents an effort to "hide the true cost of recycling from consumers.”
What he doesn't mention is that SB 234 would replace the DSWA's inefficient system with a much more cost effective single stream system, and get the DSWA out of the collection business altogether. To use the costs of the old system to project the costs of the new system borders on analytical malpractice.
Universal single stream collection sharply increases participation and greatly reduces the cost of handling at every step along the value chain. Wilmington's diversion rate shot up above 30 percent within a couple of months, and has remained steady since. The city is currently paying a net cost of about $8 per household per year in the face of a very bad commodities market, while using the same trucks and same crews that collect trash.
The argument that recycling would create “hidden costs” for consumers might sound familiar to those who remember the wind power debate. Opponents offered spurious and often wildly inaccurate numbers about the cost and effectiveness of wind power.
These arguments didn’t keep Delaware from approving wind power, and it should not be allowed to keep us from adopting the most efficient and cost effective method for instituting statewide recycling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is CRI working for on this? Who wins if this fails? The liquor stores that collect the 5 cents and don;t have to pay back 8 times out of ten?

11:01 PM, May 08, 2010  

Post a Comment

<< Home