As you decide what to do about recycling in your city, please consider what a recycler, who has already been serving the city, has learned in our 17 years of service.
The truth is that Hendersonville has had the option to recycle for more than 10 years. For less than 70 cents a day, your citizens and local businesses have had the option to recycle paper, cardboard, plastics, cans and even glass.
Currently, Green Village and EarthSavers are your two main providers. We have given our effort and risked our capital to partner with your citizens without need of a vote, an exploratory committee, or using one cent of the tax-payer money. We recycle and we do it well.
So why raise taxes and spend millions of your citizens hard-earned money for an inferior, one-size-fits-all approach? Why use the weight of the city to squash out other small businesses and their jobs in favor of one? Why eliminate free-market options and competition? Why force your citizens to recycle only one way?
That is exactly what the so called “opt-in” option that was promoted by an alderman in a recent article would do. It is no better than the city awarding a multi-million dollar contract to one vendor. In essence, the city chooses one recycler and forces citizens will pay that one business directly for whatever service that business chooses to provide.
Opt-in actually forces out businesses already here recycling and eliminates choice for the citizens of Hendersonville.
Where does the king-making stop? Why does the city have the power to select one business over another? Then why does the city have the right to force its citizens to pay for it out of their own pocket? If the city is going to do this for recycling, then why not for groceries, gasoline, or hair salons? Why not let businesses compete to provide their best service and price and let your citizens choose for themselves what they want to pay for?
The city’s short record providing recycling is already a bit dubious. Your city hired a business to collect recycling for its 800-resident pilot program and then learned the material was being landfilled.
The reality is that government-run programs have to reduce service down to the simplest denominator because it is easier to implement across the masses. For example, if the contract is awarded or the opt-in option is executed, then the citizens’ choice will be limited. No glass, imited plastics. And who knows what else.
With competition among businesses, right now residents of Hendersonville can choose how much they want to recycle and with whom. For example, EarthSavers takes glass, but in the agreement the city will sign, residents will not be able to recycle glass.
According to the city’s own statistics, EarthSavers customers recycled 3 to 4 times more material than did the participants in the city’s pilot-program. Our customers are educated, know what can be recycled, and simply recycle more. Private enterprise always does things better than government. When a citizen hires a business, that business is directly accountable to that customer. No bumbling bureaucracy.
So city of Hendersonville, please do not sign another contract, do not make one more law, or spend one cent more on recycling. Allow your citizens the freedom to choose their own recycler. Allow free economic forces to solve the problem.
What can the city do? Encourage recycling. Promote recycling businesses to your citizens. Educate about the significant benefits of recycling. Recycling does help the environment. Landfill space is running out. Waste expenses are going up and taxes along with them.
When done right, recycling works! Industries do make new products out of recycling. Mining your garbage is always better than strip mining a mountain or clearing a forest. Whether you believe in Mother Earth or Father God, recycling is a loving way to care for this beautiful planet we live on.
EarthSavers serves many of your residents and businesses, and we have invested in recycling in your beautiful city. We would appreciate being allowed to continue to conduct business in Hendersonville.
Bobby Bandy is the owner of EarthSavers.org