Styrofoam food containers may be banned but at what cost?
California is considering a ban on styrofoam food containers, except for schools, prisons and other state institutions. Senate Bill 568 proposed by State Senator Lowenthal will effectively leave restaurants and markets with fewer and more expensive food container options.
Recycling appears to be OK for state entities but not private businesses. Opponents of the new restrictions want recycling for everyone to be considered before implementing a total ban. Further, the ban would effectively kick thousands of Californians out of good jobs at a time when all of us are financially hurting. If schools, prisons and similar institutions can be trusted to recycle Styrofoam why can’t private business get the same consideration? State government needs to seek a practical solution before imposing sweeping bans. Markets and restaurants should be partners not targets of the state’s effort to regulate Styrofoam.
Los Angeles needs to rethink its plan to extend recycling.
Los Angeles needs to rethink its plan to extend recycling to multifamily housing units like apartments, condominiums and commercial buildings. With the city poised to extend its plan to reduce landfill waste dramatically there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out including who gets to pick up the trash.
As presently proposed, the city will select a limited number of recyclers from among many respondents to a city request for proposal process. Critics complain that limiting the number of options available to building owners will drive up costs. Smaller local cities like Long Beach allow as many as 16 recyclers to pick up blue waste.
Many building owners get multiple location discounts which are not provided for in the proposed city scheme.
The city has not determined how to manage the needs of restaurants and hospitals that operate 7 days a week and will need service 7 days a week.
Finally, under the city’s rules will likely require all contractor to have collective bargaining agreements which could lead to strikes leaving building owners to deal with mounting trash and no way to get rid of it.
I know the plan is still in the works but I hope the city will seriously consider the concerns of business. They need to deal with the problems that will arisen as they implement their ambitious recycling plan.