Philadelphia’s Misplaced Priorities

So the City of Philadelphia’s recycling Nazis police (or enforcement unit, or whatever they call themselves) recently paid me a visit. More accurately, they rummaged through my trash on pick up day looking to uncover evidence that I posed a threat to the Republic by mixing recyclables in with my ordinary trash. Evidently alerted by my suspicious behavior of failing to put my recycling bins out at the same time as my trash cans, the intrepid enforcement officer opened one of my cans, removed a tied shut trash bag, which he then untied, and from which he removed some of the contents. Finding two empty soda cans and a discarded wine bottle in the bag, he pulled out this nifty gizmo wit which the City arms these guys, which he used to snap a digital photo, and then print out a citation noting my failure to comply with the City’s mandatory recycling ordinance. The citation had at the bottom a print out of the digital photo, showing the evidence of my perfidy. The fine was $50 for a first offense. Setting aside for the moment whether the City should be mandating recycling, and also setting aside whether such mandates accomplish their intended purpose, I’m left wondering why the Coty bothers with this BS. With all of the problems Philadelphia has, its really going to waste resources, not to mention my tax dollars, to equip a bunch of nitwits with these digital gizmos, and send them out to rummage through my trash? Seriously? There aren’t more serious problems to address? Philadelphia is a wreck. In our public schools, you’re more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than you are to learn anything (except maybe that recycling is mandatory). We have an epidemic of street violence, and are averaging more than a homicide a day. The City is broke. So broke that they’d even consider a tax on soda to raise money. But these jerks would rather spend time and money looking for the odd soda can in my trash. I’m really sure that $50 makes it all worthwhile.

2 Responses to Philadelphia’s Misplaced Priorities
  1. JP
    July 12, 2012 | 10:27 pm

    Mark — It’s nice here in the suburbs. Recently had a grad party for my middle son, Cal. Probably had 200+ empty cans to put on the street. Started to sort, and gave up and co-mingled the cans with the regular trash. Would that have been a $10K fine in Philly? After all, the recyclers have more inventory than they can use, and send stuff to the landfills anyway. Good grief. JP

    • Mark
      July 16, 2012 | 4:26 pm

      You, sir, must be an imposter – the JP I know cannot possibly be old enough to have had 2 sons graduate high school. I expect that what you describe would, in the city, be a capital recycling offense. By the way – I believe that I owe you a long overdue call.