We Have Garbage Police? Really?

I was driving around last week, listening to NEWSTALK 1010 & the topic was the Garbage Police we have here in the Durham Region.

And I was like...WHAT??? Our tax dollars go towards paying the salary of not 1 but 2 public sector workers whose job it is to stop so-called "scavengers" from removing items from recycling bins?

These By-Law Compliance Officers take video of the "offenses", maintain a database of these "scavengers" including pictures of them & issue fines & warnings.  

The Region's position is " Stopping scavengers from going through blue boxes ensures the Region isn’t losing money. That helps keep property taxes down...Taking items out of a blue box is also taking money out of the Region’s coffers. Items collected are sold and the money offsets collection costs.“It’s really an effort to keep taxes down,”  

You can read more in a local article published last week
HERE & another interesting read (from a different community) can be found HERE & to find out about some somewhat scary technology (from a privacy perspective) being used in the US, click HERE

So my questions are:

  • Is the Region depending on the deposits from alcohol bottles that get put into recycling bins as a source of revenue to keep our property taxes down? At face value that seems kind of fiscally irresponsible to me...or is there more to it?
  • Is it right to penalize people (these so-called scavengers) who are trying to be resourceful in terms of finding sources of money? Are we penalizing the poor? Is that who is doing the scavenging?
  • Between gas for the 2 vehicles (they spend 95% of their time driving around) for these Compliance Officers & their salaries, are the fines they are issuing & recycling they are "saving" creating a real benefit or just a deficit for the Region?
  • Could homeowners be educated in a more efficient & cost-effective manner about what should & should not go into recycling bins & garbage bags?

There was a lot of heated debate during that Talk Radio segment & some of it had me shaking my head but I'd love to hear what YOU think, so leave a comment below!

Have a fabulous day!

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