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Old 03-17-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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Just curious if anyone has an opinion on the Recycling Bill. On the surface it seems that any way to promote recycling would be positive, but after removing my rose colored glasses I have to wonder if anyone really thought it all through. To strap an industry that has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, profit margins of any business with such a burden does not seem reasonable or wise. It could just be the final nail in the coffin for many restaurateurs.

Proposed Recycling Legislation Targets SC Restaurateurs

Recycling Bill Unanimously Passes Subcommittee
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
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Recycling is a burden? Could have fooled me. I think this is a fantastic idea myself. Recycling should be a federal law in my opinion also.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by g-man430 View Post
Recycling is a burden?
The cost is a burden g-man. Recycling in this state is not cost effective, so the price tag for compliance would be high. SC has a terrible recycling record, and they should be planning ways to improve it and make it more cost effective. But until that time I think it is unfair to require a business to pay the price for the states shortcomings.
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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I think it's a brilliant idea. Major props to SC for being progressive enough to do this on a state level. Although, I'm surprised that mandatory recycling is not being done by most local governments as it tends to be money maker, especially when energy costs are high.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Hey Neecie - I'm a fringe-lunatic treehugger, so it's hard for me to be opposed to this bill, or at least the original version. The amendment that makes it required only if "recycling is geographically feasible" is typical SC politics, and pretty well destroys any effectiveness of the bill, at least for politically connected restauranteurs, such as Dave Owens.

I carry my trash and recyclables to our local recycling station, and my opinion of this bill is undoubtedly influenced by the many, many times I've seen local bar and restaurant pick-ups, with their business name painted on the side, drive in and dump multiple full trashcans of bottles, cans, and plastic directly into the dumpster. It goes on repeatedly during the summer months, day after day. As you know, I'm not a big fan of our state legistature, but there's absolutely no regulation at the local level, so somebody has to make a start. This may have been a smaller pill to swallow if the restaurant associations had worked toward a reasonable solution, rather than fought it so hard for so long, but then again, this is SC, so maybe not.

I agree with the opponents that compliance should not be related to only those with liquor licenses. It should apply to all restaurants, tied to their business license. Doing the right thing is often a burden. IMO, if they won't or can't comply, they're in the wrong business and should lose their license. Then again, as soon as the wrong restaurant is hit with a fine, our legislature will "improve" the bill again to the point that it's completely useless.
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mr. Mon View Post
I think it's a brilliant idea. Major props to SC for being progressive enough to do this on a state level. Although, I'm surprised that mandatory recycling is not being done by most local governments as it tends to be money maker, especially when energy costs are high.
Yes, is should be a money maker, but for some reason it is not in SC. Why? I am not familiar enough with what is involved in the process of recycling to make an educated guess. I can only go by what I have read about this (which I understand is not always reliable). In an interview with Jennifer Sellers, she admits that, at this time, recycling in this state is not cost effective.

Quote:
PD Squawked : Doing the right thing is often a burden. IMO, if they won't or can't comply, they're in the wrong business and should lose their license.
PD, you know you could convince me to buy sand from you at a beach-side stand. I would be equally disgusted by what you saw at the recycle center. If they can haul it there, they can separate it.

Again, it is the cost I am referring to. If a business sorts the trash from the recycles it shouldn't cost them a penny more to have it hauled away. If it does, requiring such is, IMO, putting the cart before the horse. Many states have very effective recycling programs. A little research into what makes them work, and what makes them cost effective might be a good first step. I haven't heard anyone talk about the big picture in all of this (again, I am at the mercy of what I have been reading. I hope someone will interject if they have read or heard something different).

Maybe I am overly sympathetic to the plight of a restaurateur. Most of the business affected by a cost increase of trash disposal are not fortune 500 companies. There are many individually owned businesses that would consider themselves lucky if they make 3 or 4 cents on the dollar. ANY added expense could break them. I am not saying don't recycle. I am saying the state needs to figure out what they have to do to make it cost effective, do it, then force compliance. It isn't the restaurants fault that the state is behind the eight ball.

.... I am officially putting away my violin now
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Originally Posted by neecewh View Post
Maybe I am overly sympathetic to the plight of a restaurateur...
Not at all, I think you make an excellent point. If enacted, it will be a burden, particularly on the small biz's, as you point out. It's easy for me to hop on my soapbox and pontificate, but it's wrong not to be sympathetic to those who will need to make it work. I have no knowledge of how well recycling works in states that mandate it. I'm sure there's abuse, fraud, and preferential treatment. I just feel strongly that doing nothing should not be an option.

In an ideal world, legislative action should not have been necessary. After all, they're busy with weightier items, such as preserving tax-free gun weekends in the face of historic deficits There is a huge number of bars and restaurants along the Grand Strand, and the amount of glass, plastic and aluminum they dump in landfills must be astronomical. If a loose coalition had ever been formed to address the issue, I have to believe some ambitious entrepreneurial spirit would have come along and found a way to turn the problem into a very good profit. Instead, the vast majority chose to pretend there was no problem.

Ultimately, like health care reform, I believe you have to start somewhere and hope lawmakers have enough sense to make improvements as we gain experience.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
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Originally Posted by PawleysDude View Post
Not at all, I think you make an excellent point. If enacted, it will be a burden, particularly on the small biz's, as you point out. It's easy for me to hop on my soapbox and pontificate, but it's wrong not to be sympathetic to those who will need to make it work. I have no knowledge of how well recycling works in states that mandate it. I'm sure there's abuse, fraud, and preferential treatment. I just feel strongly that doing nothing should not be an option.
A bill like this would hit the small business owner the hardest. Longhorn, Olive Garden, and Outback have the deep pockets to make it work. The smaller guys would have a hard time in an already ridiculously competitive industry.

Quote:
There is a huge number of bars and restaurants along the Grand Strand, and the amount of glass, plastic and aluminum they dump in landfills must be astronomical. If a loose coalition had ever been formed to address the issue, I have to believe some ambitious entrepreneurial spirit would have come along and found a way to turn the problem into a very good profit. Instead, the vast majority chose to pretend there was no problem.
If there were any real profit to be had in recycling the field would be full of players. The only item that is economical to recycle is aluminum and more and more places are phasing that out. Notice how a lot of bars have converted to plastic beer containers that are shaped like bottles and cans? There is a lot more of that coming.

Glass produced from virgin sources is cheaper and a higher quality than glass made from recycled product and virgin plastic resin is about half the price of recycled. There is an incremental saving in reduced landfill space but that benefit is quickly overcome by the resources required to collect the recyclables. Even a city the size and density of New York cannot achieve savings through a recycling program. How can a state as rural as SC hope to? I think it is a bad bill that is designed to serve a special interest group. The primary beneficiaries of any mandatory recycling law would be waste disposal companies that would be free to set their rates. The small guy wouldn't have a chance.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
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Originally Posted by LexingtonDad View Post
If there were any real profit to be had in recycling the field would be full of players...
OK, for the sake of argument, let's pretend all of your statements are accurate. What's your solution? If it doesn't make sense for commercial entities to recycle, it must certainly be a waste of time for individuals to bother recycling their piddling amounts. From your argument, I assume we all just landfill and say to hell with it?

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” - Thomas Edison
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:29 PM
 
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It should be extended so all beverage containers be recycled not just for restaurants but for homes as well. In Michigan we have had the bottle/can deposit for years now. The deposit (.10 per container) is added to your initial purchase. It is 2nd nature now to bring your bottles/cans back to the grocery store where they are equipped with recycling machines which count your cans/bottles and spit out a receipt for the .10 per bottle/can you brought back. Yes, there were plenty of complaints went it first started but it works. It has evolved over the years from stores having to have employees count the containers you brought in to todays machines which will accept both plastic and cans. It's also a great fund raiser for schools. School groups are always coming to the door asking for bottle/can donations. At the small high school I work at we have beverage container bins set up around the school for donations, the donations are enough to pay for the seniors class party.

I hope, as a part time homeowner, SC moves forward with the Bill and extends it to everyone.
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