Should your city enact a fine for not recycling properly?

Treehugger has been following San Francisco's move to reprimand those who don't recycle--with a stiff fine.

City officials are now about to make recycling and composting mandatory for each and every San Franciscan. And if they don't comply? They can say hello to a $500 fine—it's the first time in the US that a citizen could be fined for failing to recycle.

The pros and cons over recycling fines are pretty clear.  The fines will only change behavior if they're regularly--and fairly-- enforced. Policing trash cans is a dirty job but it is a job: any area seeking to impose fines on non-recyclers must be able to pay for trash inspectors, as well as the infrastructure to keep track of violators and hold them accountable.

That is, unless a more informal neighbor system grows up as it seems to have in some European areas. Victor, a Swedish blogger at Everydaytrash, frequently discusses the great interest his countryfolk take in proper recycling habits. Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, featured a post by guest blogger Sean Saskamoto about recycling in Japan, who claimed, "Often, people carry their trash with them until they get home," such is their sense of responsibility about waste disposal.

Do you think fines are the best way to change the way people deal with their trash? Take the poll below.

Tags: Fine, Law, Policy, Recycle, Trash, Waste

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