Re: "Waste not, pay not?" the Now, Sept. 17.
Extraction of fees from people who don't want to use a service is called extortion. It is absolutely irrational to pay for services that you can't use or don't want to use.
For example, if you use only 100 cellphone minutes in a month why should you be billed for 2,000 minutes? If you only generate five kilograms of garbage why should you be paying for 20 kilograms? I don't see any rational reason to pay for more garbage than you produce.
The flat fee for garbage collection is a very crude and inflexible solution. Why not pay a different fee, depending on the size of garbage bin you own? That way, you can choose how much garbage collection you really need, thus, encouraging better recycling behaviour.
Contrary to popular belief, most people are not going to put their garbage in their neighbour's bin, because neighbours aren't stupid and will eventually catch the people who do so and simply call the police. (Similarly, most people do not steal their neighbour's gas or electricity)
If an irrational law exists it should be challenged and changed, not followed blindly. It is our civic duty as Canadians to help change laws to make life easier and less expensive for us - the citizens. The last thing we need is to make the city hall bureaucracy happy. We need to make the people happy. We can do this by replacing coercion with choice. In this case, each person can choose what size of bin they need to pay for. Simple.
This perfectly valid logic leads to other perfectly valid questions: Why should you subsidize TransLink if you don't use (or don't like) its service? How come you have to pay for schooling of children other than your own? Think about how much money you pay and what you personally get in return. If it's a sour deal, then challenge it. Don't just sit there and complain.
Jennifer Holloway is heroically challenging the bureaucracy to improve her life and as a result improve all our lives by making garbage collection more efficient.
That is morally and practically the right thing to do.
David Simonov, North Delta
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