Mandatory Garbage Could Be First Step To Recycling

by April 12, 2010 • 13 comments

Trash, on Panama City Beach, has a funny way of accumulating. Every year tons of trash finds its way to landfills, strung-out along the streets or blown around all over our gorgeous beaches with no one to pick it up. Well, early last month the city council voted to move residents of Panama City Beach towards mandatory garbage collection and, at least to some degree, alleviating part of the problem of PCB’s dirty reputation.

Naturally, mandatory garbage collection will reduce the amount of trash leftover from short-term renters and residential areas that do not require collection. Also, it could reduce illegal dumping and littering as residents won’t be saving money as they may have before.

But, for those thinking a tad greener, mandatory garbage collection is the first step towards mandatory recycling. It is not as much about green, as in “earthy” than it is about green, as in “money”. Throwing out recyclables increases the amount of garbage going to the landfills. That leads to increased landfill fees that would then filter down to increased trash fees for city residents. So, in the near future, it is likely that not only will Panama City Beach be a cleaner place, but a greener one too.

A system for the pickup is still in the works, but several companies have submitted RFQs,  all of whom could provide mandatory collection at the choice of the tenant.

This new system could be mandatory from bridge to bridge. No word yet on what the fees will be, but it is likely that the fee will be added to your water bill.

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1 Vicki April 13, 2010 at 7:08 am

Fantastic! Now let’s get a bottle law passed.

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2 Betty April 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

Keep reminding everyone that — “Only Trash Litters”

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3 David Moreau April 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

I don’t see how this is going to stop the visitors from throwing trash all over our beaches and roads! This is the real problem. Maybe if we placed more public trash cans on the streets we would have a more logical solution than the few residents that are here for 2 or 3 months a year and don’t dispose of there trash properly. Also, how can this be enforced? Would someone who has a summer home and are here for a short period of time have to pay for yearly garbage collection? Who makes the money in that situation? Who in our Government has there hands in this till? More Government and less freedom that’s the American way!
It would be nice though to have the ability to recycle my trash, why can’t we first try a voluntary solution before big government?

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4 James D. April 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

I completely understand and agree with the spirit of your argument. However, there are some basic “common sense” things that fall under the role of municipal government. Most residential areas have some sort of weekly garbage collection. It’s a service provided by the municipality or contracted to a private company. Either way, basic sanitation is critical to the overall health of a community. If someone wants to live without too many government “mandates” — then they shouldn’t be residing in a populated area. Back home, most of the neighbors are gone half the year — they’re down here in sunny Florida! However, everyone still pays for garbage pickup whether they’re in town or not. It’s not an optional service that can be put on hold for certain addresses. The trucks still have to roll through the entire neighborhood and haul away what they pickup.

As far as beach trash, this unfortunately is an issue that will need everyone’s involvement. One of the reasons sooo many ordinances are passed is b/c of the gross lack of personal responsibility. If people would just “do the right thing” and be respectful of their surroundings, the need for any government involvement would be minimal at best. The problem in PCB is the ordinances aren’t always enforced unilaterally. Such is the case with people letting their dogs crap on the beach. Not only is it littering — it’s a violation of city & county ordinances to have a dog anywhere on the beach other than the designated “Doggie Beach” by Pier Park.

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5 Casual Observer April 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

The voluntary recycling solution was tried by Panama City Rescue Recycling, and due to the economy the company had to suspend the program. The other local recycler (Redco) only recycles cardboard and buld paper. Those of us that live here all year round are tired of the garbage problems. If you are not paying for garbage to be picked up, then you are more than likely dumping it illegally at someone else’s expense. Public trash cans will have to be paid for with tax dollars; isn’t that the same as mandatory trash pickup being paid for through your water bill???

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6 Cindy April 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

This is great! I am all for recycling.

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7 Leo April 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

I’d like to see deposits placed on Beer Cans, Beer Bottles, Pop Cans and Pop Bottles. I asure you someone will pick them up for the refund money.

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8 Dennis April 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

An effort to have everyone take responsibility for the garbage in PCB is a good thing and it hard to argue with recycling. Most well run and beautiful municipalities have an ordinance and or taxes to cover garbage. If the locals make an effort to keep PCB clean and beautiful, tourist will be less likely to abuse it. David sounds like he should watch less FOX news (humor).

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9 Ted Lenz April 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I can’t believe how people litter around here. We don’t see this in other breautiful places we frequent like the ski areas in CO. or the finger lakes of NY. We carry bags with us on our walks and two days after we pick up more litter has been tossed in the same places. Sloppy, careless jerks sure hurt this areas reputation!
Mandatory garbage pick up, bottle deposit laws, and fines might help, but basic upbringing of the children here is also needed. What happened to Southern manners?

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10 Tony Santilli April 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Sounds great. But will our old way of thinking get in the way? We needed this 10 years ago when normal people decided on mandatory trash pick up and recycling. We need PCB to get on board and vote this in. We also need the TDC and others to get rid of Spring Break, and then just maybe, we will have paradise to live in. Ban Together, Think Together, Act Together.!!!!!

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11 David April 14, 2010 at 7:31 am

I had a tenant in a long term rental that “saved money” and made a makeshift fire pit for his trash. I wish there had been mandatory trash pick up then. (I’ve added it to my rental agreements, you can be sure of that.). As for the bizarre thought that our freedom is being taken away by being sure trash is properly being disposed of; how about our freedom to not have a stench of open trash pits, the eyesore of trash everywhere and the freedom to keep our environment (more) free of festering germs and random rodents?
I also used the Rescue Missions recycling service. It was a great thing and we were all sad when they had to discontinue it. There is a public interest (as in benefit) in recycling. I hope it comes back (although the recycle bins by the PCB fire dept. certainly help a bit).

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12 Mike April 19, 2010 at 6:18 am

Trash cans and recycling bins left at the curb all week is as unpleasant as litter is. That’s exactly what will happen unless rules are established clarifying how these recepticals are to be used and stored. Presently there are no rules or penalties for leaving your garbage cans at the street. We may need a set of beautification codes to ensure that home and business curb appeal is maintained at a higher level than what it is now.

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13 lauren wilson April 21, 2010 at 10:55 am

Mike thats a lovely idea, but on the non pick up days for trash what are our neighbors who dont have that garage to stow it in supposed to do ? …. or a duplex set-up ? There IS a neighborhood with ”beautification codes” -Bay Point and probably many other neighborhoods. But when your cruising down the rest of the beach neighborhoods, try to ease your issue with these blue bins by noticing all the other beauty the neighborhood has to offer… i’ve overlooked mine so many times backing into it with my car, re-arranging it a bit.

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