Garbage inspectors will soon be rifling through San Francisco residents’ trash cans, rooting out anti-social behavior, if the mayor has his way. Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed last week the nation’s first mandatory recycling and composting law. Miscreants would face fines of up to $1,000 and could be cut off from garbage service. The mayor touts his proposal in typically grandiose terms:

"If we’re truly going to be the city we promote ourselves to be, a world-class, 21st century city that advances its values and principles, we’re going to have to try new things. People are used to doing things a certain way. And when you change that, they say it can’t be done. Well, we’ve proved them wrong."

The "they" Newsom is talking about are the citizens for whom he works. Rather than advancing "values and principles," as defined by an affluent, "progressive" elite, the citizens want the mayor and the the city’s Board of Supervisors to clean up the filthy, feces-strewn streets, improve the ailing public transportation system, attract jobs to a city that has the worst business climate in the state, and halt the escalating level of violence, including a murder rate that has grown each year Newsom has been in office.

None of these legitimate concerns have been or will be addressed by the mayor or the non-entities wasting space on the Board of Supervisors. Instead they enact meddlesome legislation like forbidding pharmacies from selling cigarettes, merrily ignoring the wishes of their constituency.

Currently a residence is allotted three garbage cans into which recyclables, yard clippings and garbage destined for the landfill are deposited to be picked up by the privately-run sanitation company. Proper separation of the three types of trash is up to the resident who, presumably motivated by ecological concerns, is scrupulous in making sure the right stuff goes into the right cans. Newsom’s proposal substitutes "required" for "voluntarily." To ensure the citizenry behaves itself the mayor wants the sanitation workers to verify the contents of the trash cans before pick up. Improperly filled garbage cans would be identified with a tag on the container and a written notice to the resident. Subsequent violations would result in refusal to pick up the garbage followed by a hefty fine.

As always the goal of this sort of officious interference is one that cannot possibly be obtained. San Francisco, according to the mayor and the board of supervisors, is to produce zero unrecyclable waste by the year 2020 – yes, the nihilistic zero mentality again! To reach that goal the number of recyclable items must be expanded and the first expansion to go into effect will be food. No longer will refuse resulting from preparing and eating food be allowed into the landfill garbage can. It must instead be deposited into the compost garbage can. The San Francisco Chronicle, an enthusiastic cultist in the global warming hoax, helpfully provides a matrix to educate city residents on how to fill their garbage cans. Over time other currently non-recyclable substances will be deemed recyclable meaning additional garbage cans will be added to the mix, leading to the happy day when the old generic (landfill) trash can may be retired forever. Benito Mussolini, a prominent "progressive" operating last century made the trains run on time, diverting attention from his unsavory policies. His spiritual heirs in San Francisco follow suite by diverting complaints with happy talk about saving Mother Earth with the spirit of cooperation. After all, they say, we don’t want to punish anyone. Shame, however, is a fair tactic.

"When you’re the one guy on the block with the little tag on your garbage can, everyone knows you screwed up," says a specialist on recycling. "There’s a little bit of shame, a ‘Scarlet Letter’ effect, to this program that seems to work with people."

Newsom said fines would only be levied in egregious circumstances.

"We don’t want to fine people," the mayor said. "We want to change behavior."



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