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Bring your own bag or pay up

Original post made by Tim Hunt, Castlewood, on Jan 31, 2012

This story contains 458 words.

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Comments (4)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Good riddance to the plastic bag. You forgot the bags that don't end up in the land fill but blow across the country.

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

We switched to canvas years ago; they hold just as much and are stronger. We also use mesh produce bags. Not a fan of additional regulation, but if we can't be more conscientious consumers on our own, what is plan b? It's not likely that a grocery store can opt to stop providing bags altogether (and why should Trader Joe's give anyone a prize?), even if they were a conscientious green company. I suppose the agencies could run big ads on tv to change our behavior, perhaps with a Native American standing by the freeway with a tear in his eye as trash blows around the landscape. Oh, wait . . .

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Posted by Becky Dennis
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Becky Dennis is a registered user.

For anyone who wonders where the goal of 75% solid waste reduction came from, the correct answer is: The voters of Alameda County. Back in 1990 the voters passed (by a big majority too) a Sierra Club authored initiative, Measure D, which required a 75% reduction of solid waste going to county landfills by a certain date. It also enacted a $6/ton landfill tipping fee to fund county recycling programs, and it established an additional County Recycling Agency as well. Here's a link to the text of Measure D. Web Link

As a City Council member, I had the opportunity to serve as Board President of both agencies. It was one of my most interesting duties. I really enjoyed my nine years of talking trash, though that may have been genetic, since I come from a long line of successful scrap dealers. The challenge of doing the people's will involves a meticulous weighing and analysis of what people throw away, as well as the equivalent of an annual dumpster dive by agency staff at our local landfills. This information was then used to design grant programs that targeted categories of waste that make up the biggest portions of the waste stream.

As I recall, plastic bags (and actually plastics in general) are particularly difficult to recycle, since bags of even slightly different compositions cannot be mixed without making the plastic totally unuseable. If our waste agencies are willing to take the heat for requiring a ban on free plastic bags, I conclude that a) no one was able to design an effective recycling program for plastic bags and b) we are burying tons of them every day.

Love or hate the ban on plastic bags, we have no one to hold accountable but ourselves!

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Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein
a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 21, 2012 at 11:39 am

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

I don't think you're paying attention to what Tim is saying here, amigos. It's not that there aren't good reasons or solid answers, it's that he hasn't looked for them and doesn't want to understand them.

Remember, Tim's a JOURNALIST, which means he does his due diligence and attributes his information in a thorough and ethical manner. Some examples of his sources for this post: "I suspect," "why," and many good, hearty generalizations. Thrown in is a little truthiness and that good old, "I know in my heart that stuff these young people do today is wrong because it ain't how I was brought up" wisdom. Now THAT'S reporting!

Thanks, Pleasanton Weekly, for consistently raising the bar.'s got nothing on this site.

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