By: Diane Benjamin
This week the McLean County Land Use committee rejected forcing people to recycle. An amendment was brought to the committee by newly appointed member Ryan Scritchlow. Even though Board member Carlo Robustelli is not a member of the Land Use Committee, it didn’t stop him from making this comment on Facebook:
Carlo, it wasn’t a disappointing day – it was a victory for freedom. Government does not have the right to order people to comply with anything, unless you are planning on using armed guards to enforce it. I bet Carlo approved of the Obamacare mandate that required people to buy insurance whether they could afford it or not. Forcing people to recycle is no different from forcing people to buy health insurance. Our form of government doesn’t do “what’s good for the collective”.
I really like Robustelli’s claims that “experts” did the plan. “Experts” did the Coliseum plans too. “Experts” planned Uptown and the massive debt and “experts” designed all the un-affordable area Master Plans that cost millions. “Experts” weren’t elected, people representing their constituents were. Hold all the public meetings you want, the people who attend are in favor, the general public never hears about them.
The vote to not make recycling mandatory was a vote to protect people least able to bear the cost. The City of Bloomington caused the problem when they decided not to pick up garbage from apartment buildings with more than 6 units. Bloomington disenfranchised landlords by making City pickup twice the cost of private service for 6 and fewer. They required one container for every unit even though one isn’t needed. If they hadn’t been greedy, many apartments buildings would already be recycling. The landlords are forced to pay for private service that currently doesn’t offer recycling or increase rents. If the County had passed a plan requiring all of them to recycle, RENTS would have increased. Somebody has to pay for it, and contrary to what Robustelli must believe, landlords aren’t hoarding cash. We keep hearing about un-affordable local housing, this plan would have made it worse.
I talked to one of my County Board members, Scott Murphy. He agrees rents would go up for the people least able to pay the cost. He is all for recycling, but not at the cost of hurting the poor. He mentioned a program from when we were kids where a deposit was charged on bottles. We paid a dime extra and got it back when the bottles were returned. If a deposit was charged on aluminum cans, kids would be collecting them for spending money. Creativity goes a lot farther than government force. Maybe Connect Transit can start transporting recyclables for people who don’t have City service. Quite a few recycling containers could be retrofitted into those empty buses.
I want to thank Carlo for pointing out why the County Board can not fall to majority Democrat control. The City of Bloomington is run by Democrats and they doubled the cost landlords pay to register apartments, they made housing less affordable. The only person who voted against the amendment was Democrat Laurie Wollrab. Imagine what would happen is Democrats were ever in charge of the entire Board.
Choosing who to put on the County Board just got much easier.