Photo via orphanjones
Gwinnett County in Georgia has decided that it needs to get really serious about recycling. They've beefed up their recycling program, and passed an ordinance that slaps a fat fine on anyone who trashes recyclables, or puts trash in the recycle bin. The county hopes to double (or more) the amount of recycling they accomplish to 23%, and apparently thinks that scaring people into proper sorting habits will work. It very well might.
While many people would rail against a fine like this, the county says they're reserving the fine for "excessive abuses" — in other words, for folks who aren't recycling at all.
"We don't intend for this to be the garbage gestapo, running around, looking in people's garbage about what's there and what's not there," said Connie Wiggins, executive director of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, which is administering Gwinnett's waste disposal program. "I believe the fine applies to all categories, and certainly, if we saw excessive abuses of materials being thrown in the garbage."
The county is significantly boosting the number of recyclables it accepts — er, requires — for collection, and hopes that this'll keep them from having to open up another landfill anytime soon. But with the recycling industry taking a downturn, they might need to open up storage areas for all the every-so-willingly submitted recyclables.