Tuesday, August 21, 2007

$4,300 Trash Cans - A Pagan Tax On Believers and Non-Believers Alike

Solar-power compactors press the mess in Boston

They're boxy and green and, at first glance, don't even look like garbage cans; as Mayor Thomas M. Menino demonstrated their use yesterday, some people downtown mistook them for mail drops or traffic-light switch boxes.

They are Menino's latest idea for keeping the city litter-free: solar-powered, self-compacting trash receptacles. Delivering a rant about overstuffed trash cans, while trying to scrape gum off the bottom of his shoe at a Downtown Crossing unveiling, Menino described the virtues of the new devices. They need emptying only once or twice a day, not the 15 or more sanitation worker visits required by some downtown trash cans. They don't spill. They smell less. And, they hold some 150 gallons of trash, about five times more than a standard city receptacle.

Developed by a Jamaica Plain inventor, they are powered by photoelectric panels, which supply power to motor-driven compactors inside. Workers extract neat, 40-pound trash bricks instead of trying to manhandle the messy contents of an overflowing can.

"I think they're great," Menino said.

The city has placed 50 of the $4,300 machines in neighborhoods and hopes to buy more as it gauges how much it can save in labor costs.

The 4-foot-tall containers announce "TRASH" in four places and feature several images of a person tossing an item into a can. Even so, some passersby cast quizzical looks yesterday at the machines, which could easily be mistaken for drop boxes for library books or postal packages.

The town of Natick apparently has a solar powered trash compactor that cost $500,000. Turns out, it's a good place to exercise patriotic dissent and set Memorial Day flags on fire.

BOSTON -- Natick police said they were searching for whomever stuffed decorative American flags in trash receptacles around the town square and set them on fire.

The burning flags were in a solar-powered trash compactor, which is valued at about $500,000.

These Earth-worshipping pagans have essentially ruined the color green - so much so that I have seriously thought about pulling the green crayon out of my son's crayola box.


Taylor Conant said...

This story is the typical mix of socialist-idiocy for a couple of reasons:

1. Socialism distorts the economy, creating waste by channeling resources from efficient to inefficient economic endeavors. Case in point, the "Jamaica Plains inventor" responsible for these contraptions. $4,300 for a TRASH CAN. Who on the free market (ie non-coerced, ie, non-government) would ever buy a $4,300 trash can? Probably no one. Definitely not enough people to make such a trash can's development a reasonable or profitable investment of time and money. And yet the world now has this $4,300 trash can. What is the world MISSING as a result? We'll never know what kind of amazing things everyone might be able to enjoy right now had this trash can never been developed... maybe more and cheaper versions of things we have now, maybe something completely brand new and interesting.

2. Because this trash can is a "money saver" (through the government's logic, which begins at and does not take into account the money used and wealth destroyed simply by taking $4,300 in taxes), it means it is a "job eliminator." Whereas the old model circular trash bin needed 15 visits per day (which must be 2-3 workers total), this one requires 1-2 visits to empty it each day (ignoring labor required to produce this contraption, which would be skilled labor versus unskilled labor for the old style). But the government is notorious for supporting make-work projects in an effort to "help" the economy, and surely the public sanitation workers' union won't be happy that a few more members are off the payroll and thus off the union dues contribution-roll.

Don't get too jaded C... otherwise your little boy might not be left with ANY colors in his crayon box. After all, red means communism, brown and black mean fascism (green, by the way, is also an Islamic color). Of course, the rainbow, a sign of homosexuals, contains ALL the colors of the rainbow. It's unfortunate that some undesireable factions have chosen particular colors to identify themselves, but the colors aren't really theirs unless people like you and I start doing ridiculous things like retreating from their usage. I know you're just kidding, though.

I don't think I understand your frustration with "patriotic dissent." Your italics seems to imply you think the concept to be trite or invalid. Do people owe their loyalty to the particular government that claims ownership over them? Or do they owe their loyalty to the "society" such a government might claim to represent? Or do they owe their loyalty to abstract symbols such as multi-colored pieces of cloth?

If yes to any of these, I'd like to know why. And if know, I'd at least appreciate some more explanation of what you find to be wrong with burning a flag in a trash can.

As for me, I think burning in a trash can is one of the few proper places for something like the "American flag" (aka the Federal Rag). Just don't forget to douse it with a little urine first.

David Foster said...

"Who on the free market (ie non-coerced, ie, non-government) would ever buy a $4,300 trash can? Probably no one."...it's quite likely that a private trash-collection company would buy something like this, given the tradeoff between capital cost and labor savings.

The "solar powered" part makes me wonder, though. In a downtown area with tall buildings, is there really likely to be enough sunlight falling on the device to keep the battery charged? Seems unlikely..

CaptiousNut said...

My new abode has a "trash compacter" in it. It's a joke. It doesn't do anything that a one-handed push can't do. I think of it as I do an iPod - a worthless gimmicky toy.

Yet for some odd reason, my wife loves it...

Taylor Conant said...

...it's quite likely that a private trash-collection company would buy something like this, given the tradeoff between capital cost and labor savings.

David, there's a simple test to see if you're right-- examine whether or not private trash-collection companies buy these things or were interested in their development.

But when we run the test we see that these trash cans fail the test. That's why it took stolen tax money to "invest" in a TRASHY idea like this.