Recycle Bin Technology Comes to New Jersey, just as it's being tossed on the, well, dustpile, in the UK

So next week, Cherry Hill, NJ residents will begin using their new high-tech recycle bins to give politicians additional cover to avoid the tough decisions about our trash.

Why should we build much-needed trash to steam generating facilities that might anger some people (aka voters) while benefitting us with cheaper energy, if we can pretend that government-enforced recycling with a high-tech gift certificate at the back end will solve all our ills?

This is the pattern among those we elect to run our government. Take the easy way out. Don’t tell people the hard facts of reality. Don’t really DO anything that requires making tough, unpopular decisions. We saw what happened to NJ Gov. Jim Florio when he actually told people the truth, that he was going to raise their taxes.

Why should we allow responsible exploration of our vast reserves of shale oil, offshore oil, or ANWR oil as part of a comprehensive plan for energy independence?

It’s much easier to just offer people a few pennies off on gas for the summer vacation season by suspending a much-needed gasoline tax that pays for the highway repairs we aren’t even doing, because we’ve stolen the trust fund money to prop up social security, because we don’t want to ask people the hard question about funding it properly?

Let me review.

We now have beautiful, blue barcoded recycle bins, delivered by our tax dollars to your door. Starting June 30, we must put all of our recyclable glass, plastic, metal, and paper into these bins, which have wheels (easier to schlep to curbside) and are very big and tall, to hold a week’s worth of this stuff.

When they are picked up, the garbage truck will read the bar code and keep track of what you have recycled.

Then you can log onto www.recyclebank.com and find out how many "points" you have accumulated toward the purchase of what? More "stuff", as the late George Carlin would have said. "Stuff" that is wrapped in more waste paper, packaging, etc., that you can put into the recycle bin and start getting points all over again.

Talk about bread and circuses! Distract people from the real issue by making them work really hard at throwing stuff away correctly.

News flash…we just got back from the UK, where one of the interesting local controversies is the discovery after spending millions of UK pounds (worth twice the US dollar at this point)…gasp! The bin-data technology doesn’t seem to work very well. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/17/microchipped_wheelie_bins/

Can’t wait until someone in Cherry Hill asks how we know the recyclebank.com points are being accurately awarded…that will keep everyone’s minds off the energy issues for at least another campaign season.

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