Although I consider myself to be a small “l” libertarian at heart, when I see something like this, it makes me very happy:
Atlanta could become the first major U.S. city to require businesses to recycle.
Legislation that will be considered Nov. 5 by the Atlanta City Council would create a 16-member task force that would spend nine months studying a mandatory recycling program for businesses operating in the city.
The legislation has the support of a majority of the council and Mayor Shirley Franklin, a proponent of other environmentally friendly initiatives including green building practices and combating global warming.
Normally, I’m very wary of government using its police power, but there are times when things just aren’t happening fast enough. In my opinion, recycling is one of those things. And since I don’ t think anyone’s life, liberty, or property is being affected in any way, I don’t much consider it a violation of anyone’s rights (unless you believe there is a constitutional right to litter.)
In 1998, I lived in a small town just outside of Halifax, NS in Canada. Every resident had 3 bins. Yes, 3. One for regular trash, one for compost, and one for recycling (bottles, cans, paper, etc.) The trash bin was the smallest of the three. I remember thinging that if government is going to use its police power to force anything on the community, then this is one thing I could get behind. You could actually be fined if your trash bin contained items that should have been in the recycle bin.
And seeing the all the recyclable material that is regularly carted away from the buildings where I work, it’s something I would love to see put into action.