Free Trash or self organizing city services

February 12, 2007 at 2:16 pm Leave a comment

In Taipei you have to pay for trash bags. Bags are also expensive. It’s potentially possible that someone could make a profit from collecting 32 NT trash bags (the big ones), burning the trash and then reselling the bag. Hence, it could be possible to do away with city wide trash disposal simply by placing the cost of the service on the bag. If each bag was worth such and such an amount, slightly durable, and could be resold, this could create a market where folks would simply go around collecting trash, disposing of it, and reselling the bags for their profit. Of course some people would probably choose to burn or dispose of their trash themselves and also this might be a good incentive for cutting down on waste to begin with. You wouldn’t need to worry about people throwing out garbage in bags that are worthless, no one would want to pick up a shoddy disposable plastic bag because of it’s low resale value. Is it possible that this might be a better method for dealing with trash than the current system where the person throwing away their trash pays a remarkably small amount for a large amount of waste? While many cities employ similar methods as Taipei does (recylcing is free, normal trash costs money), this method has the advantage of being low cost (in theory it provides a city with trash disposal with no cost to the government) and hence perhaps something for the developing world.

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links for 2007-02-10 Osaka Redux

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