To the editor:

Concerning the proposed ordinance sponsored by Councilors Barry Connell and Afroz Khan and supported by the Waste Reduction Task Force, which proposes the city change weekly trash service by limiting each household to one barrel and then implement a fee for additional “plastic” bags to dispose of a resident’s normal trash, in my opinion, this will not reduce the amount of solid waste produced. It simply shifts the economic burden.

Every action causes a reaction. Recycling may now become more popular but I understand there is a higher cost to dispose of recycling than solid waste. This proposal is a consumption fee on trash.

It will not reduce the amount of trash, it just shifts the burden to those residents and homeowners with larger families living in larger homes and already paying more in taxes. We already have too many fees, understating the true needed tax rate.

This opens the door to creating even more “pay-to-play” options. If we can charge residents $4 for every additional bag they need, why not a co-pay to the residents who use more of other city services like fire/police or ambulance?

Is this not the same argument as paying $4 for a trash bag? If this passes, will the city need to hire a trash barrel monitor to issue tickets to those who jammed 48 gallons of trash into a 32-gallon barrel or will the trash reduction task force patrol the streets making sure residents are not dumping Hefty trash bags in public places?

The proposal will not reduce, significantly, the amount of solid waste and may actually increase other lines of the budget. If the council is determined to “pass” another consumption fee, then at least bring it to citizens in the form of a binding ballot question in November. I suggest everyone call their councilor and voice your own opinion.

Ed Noe

Newburyport

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