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POLL: Should Residents Who Don't Recycle Be Fined?

One councilman thinks so, do you agree?

Last week, during a , one councilman expressed his opinion that those that don’t comply with mandatory recycling in the township should face a fine.

“People in town must recycle,” Councilman Sam Alderisio said. “And there should be a penalty for people who don’t.”

The comment got a mixed reaction from the crowd of over 100 residents who attended the meeting to hear the discussion and voice their opinions on recycling in the Mahwah. Some in the crowd booed, while one resident made a public comment in support of the idea.

Other residents talked of concerns about the idea, saying that it would be logistically impossible, or too expensive, to enforce.

According to the township’s recycling program ordinance, recycling is mandatory. “Effective January 1, 2008, it shall be mandatory for all persons to separate newspaper, glass, designated plastic and aluminum from all other solid waste produced in or at any premises in the Township,” the ordinance says.

The ordinance says township departments are responsible for enforcing the law and that anyone in violation is subject to penalties. But, it only references generic penalties anyone can be assigned for violating any segment of the township code, and does not mention a specific punishment for those who do not abide by the recycling law.

So, Patch wants to know – what do you think? Should residents be fined if they do not recycle?

Rm0569 July 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I for one think it should be up to the resident, if he or she wants to recycle or not, and should not be fined if they choose not too!!!
JP July 17, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I think everyone should recycle however, instead of a negative incentive, how about a positive incentive like sharing the profits from recycling with the residents as a group. The more we recycle the more everyone receives in one form or another - but directly - not as a form of township revenue. We could all easily schlep our cans and bottles over the border to NY since the town is so close and get paid directly by the machines there (which I bet some people actually do now), but we don't do it in general. How much is our recycling worth every month??
BB July 17, 2012 at 06:53 PM
In my opinion, people shouldn't have the right to send recyclables to a landfill. This carelessness is wasting a precious resource plus polluting the land for future generations. If you want to "store" your recyclables for millenium in the ground even though it is "illegal" than you should pay a fine. Everytime you recycle, you support the economy with an imput of raw material that we would otherwise buy from China. We already buy the majority of our recycled plastic from china to make products with recycled content because our country's recycling rate is so low. But I agree that a positive incentive may be more effective for those who don't care that much about the environment. There are many methods to raise awareness and recycling is a win-win for everyone!

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