Among my various FaceBook friends there has been considerable discussion of the "Green Police" superbowl ad:
The ad hit pretty close to home. In our community, we are now required to use clear garbage bags so the garbage collectors can examine our garbage to make sure we are recycling instead of just dumping recyclables into the garbage. (But let me add that I have not heard of a single instance where a curbside garbage collector has actually looked at a garbage bag and rejected it because it contained recyclables. There's a pretty serious principal-agent problem here since the garbage collectors are competitive profit-oriented private businesses who have an incentive to keep us happy and collect whatever we put out.)
The requirement for clear garbage bags came into effect largely because the landfill site had been filling up faster than expected, and for some reason the proprietors of the site did not choose to raise the tipping fee at the dump site again.
- People objected to loss of privacy, so we are now all allowed to use one small "personal" opaque bag inside a clear garbage bag for "personal" disposables.
- People responded so much that there is now concern that the dump site operator is losing money. Duh. They couldn't see this coming? Anyway, I find this ironic and amusing.
Recall that in this town we pay $2/bag for garbage pickup and there is competition between two different private services to pick up our garbage. Raising the tipping fees led to a price increase from $1. I am puzzled as to why tipping fees could not have been raised to accomplish this same result and meanwhile reflect the true opportunity costs of using the dump site.
I'm waiting for the enviro-nazis, akin to those in the ad/video, to go along the curbs some day, examining everyone's garbage, and warning those of us who might have put some recyclables into the garbage. I can imagine the local weekly doing a story along these lines. I can also imagine my reaction, especially when the recycling person rejects something that the garbage nazis think is recyclable and I'm caught in the middle.