Reducing trash pickup to save money on the municipal level


Portland has come up with a novel way to generate more cash for the city: Reduce traditional garbage pickup and increase the pickup of recyclables.

The Wall Street Journal  reports the move by the Oregon city has reduced landfill garbage by big amounts. “In the first quarter of 2012,” the paper reports, “Portland collected just under 13,000 tons of residential garbage, down from 23,000 tons during the year-earlier period.”

Though it’s too early to estimate the exact savings, city managers says the cost of disposing “green” garbage is up to $40-per-ton cheaper than processing landfill trash.

Yet not everyone is happy with the city going to trash pickup once every other week, along with the increased weekly pickup for composted garbage and recyclables.

Those who are unhappy cite government interference in their lives. But Portland has an answer for them: You can get a bigger trash can and pay a bigger trash fee.

We have to be so creative in this country when it comes to everything. Trash haulers see themselves not as simple landfill jobbers, but they’re instead sorting trash every which way and getting revenue from whatever they can.

We’re still in the early stages of this, but it’s all going to save money for municipalities. There’s no doubt about that.

Editor’s note: This segment originally aired July 6, 2012.

  • Show Comments Hide Comments