Mayor Parker recently shot down a proposal to extend Houston’s recycling program to every home in the city. This extension would have led to a $3.50 monthly garbage fee. I completely agree with Mayor Parker’s decision. Recycling is important, and I personally recycle, but now is not the right time to increase another fee. Most HEB’s have recycling centers in their parking lots, and most schools have a recycling bin outside for paper. Sure, it’s not as convenient as having it right at your door, but it beats paying another monthly fee! She probably made a lot of her supporters mad because of this decision, but the bottom line is that we can’t add new fees for anything right now.
Mayor Parker is also looking at new ways to toughen ordinances on illegal dumping of tires. The City of Houston estimates that they spend nearly $1 million a year to have people find and collect these tires throughout the city. Even though there are proper disposal sites all around Houston, people still tend to throw tires into open ditches, clogging them up, causing drainage problems, and costing us money. Because of the significant cost/problems, the city is now looking at ways to track tires with businesses to see who is illegally dumping these tires. That seems reasonable; however, they are also looking to start requiring fees for proper disposal. That makes no sense! If they want to reduce the problem, don’t make the people who are already doing the right thing start paying for it. Ever hear of positive reinforcement?