My state punishes you more for recycling here then littering!


You should recycle, everyone knows that. Not everyone does it, but most everyone admits that it’s better to recycle then to just throw it all away. We all also know that it’s wrong to litter (that means you, litterbugs!) and you will be fined if you’re caught. BUT, my wonderful state fines you much higher for bringing your recyclables from out of state then they will if you just throw it out of your car window. Yup, we’re special like that.

I just learned this today which proves that there’s always something new to learn about your lawmakers and their wacked out ideas. I was heading down (or up depending on how you look at it, whatever) the highway and was coming up on the exit for our recycling center. It has the longest name ever (six words in total – maybe they should have recycled some of those letters), but that’s not really important to my point. Anyway, at the entrance of the exit there was a sign that stated the following:

“State law prohibits dumping of out of state garbage. All violators will be fined a penalty of $5,000.”

The amount of the fine was in bright red just so they really got their point across. I saw it, commented about it (as usual) but was more then ready to forget about it. That was until several feet up the highway when we passed a ‘no littering’ sign. I’ve passed these things millions of times and have seen the fine posted enough times that I should know what it says. However, I’m good to the planet and don’t litter so I guess it just doesn’t stick. I learned (well, re-learned I guess) that the law and fines are as followed:

“NO LITTERING! Violators will be fined from $55 to $500.”

Hmmph. So, if someone decides to bring their junk to my state (for whatever reason they can think of) they will promptly be fined five thousand dollars, just for wanting to recycle here instead of where they live. If they just throw it out onto the ground somewhere else in the state (even right OUTSIDE the recycling center’s property line) they could only be charged fifty-five dollars. Even if they get the full fine of five hundred, they still get nothing compared if they crossed into the recycling center itself. How crazy is that?!

I get that we don’t want every other’s state’s stuff since we have enough of our own, but why do litterbugs get off so easy compared to people actually trying to bring their stuff where it can be repurposed? They’re being green! They want their junk to be recycled and turned into something useful instead of being eyesores on the side of the road. Talk about being severely punished for being the “good guy”. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a fine since we can’t let everyone and their sister bring stuff from out of state, but why do the irresponsible people just tossing it on the ground get off easier? Why are they only out a small amount when the people bringing it to the proper place get slammed with a high fine?

My state is seriously backwards. They say they want you to recycle, especially larger items that need to be brought directly to the recycling center but yet they make it as difficult as they can. In a previous post I mentioned the very limited schedule they have. You can only drop off one Saturday a month and just between the hours of 8am – 12pm. That’s it! Then if you happen not to be a resident and want to recycle you have to pay a large fine (and keep your crap). Yet, we give minor punishments to people who litter and cause damage to the environment and wildlife, not to mention it makes the roadways look bad.

They seriously need to step up the littering fines and be more flexible on their “drop off hours”!

PS: My laptop totally shut down on me in the middle of writing this post and it brought back my work! I didn’t even save yet but it didn’t delete what I wrote! YAY!! Good thing since there was no way I was re-writing all this crap again.


Mr Farty said...
April 21, 2009 at 5:58 PM

True story: Some kids from a high school here in the UK borrowed a video camera to make a documentary about how recycling works. First, they filmed the glass, plastic and paper from the school getting bagged separately, then the council truck coming to collect it all, then the truck being driven to the dump and finally the carefully separated waste being dumped in landfill.

On the plus side, the documentary was very popular. Especially around election time.

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