Fines and Sanctions for Not Separating Waste
Why do fines and sanctions for not separating waste have to be imposed? Aren’t we all responsible citizens with a careful regard for the environment? Unfortunately, this is not exactly true. There is a small percentage of the population out there that is still negligent about separating their waste. The excuses they have range from not having enough space to considering the civic authorities responsible for it.
However, in many countries, the government is imposing strict fines and sanctions on people who do not make an effort to do their bit. Here are some of the measures they have opted to take:
1. Argentina: The local government of Buenos Aires has been in the forefront of implementing waste recycling programs by way of two stages. The first is aimed at educating the people on how to separate their waste and recycle it properly. The second stage involves fining the citizens that don’t recycle or recycle incorrectly. These fines can range from 320 to 9.000 dollars (from 300 to 8.500 Euros).
2. Chile: The Chilean government has placed the onus of recovering reusable packaging materials on the shoulders of the manufacturers of the products that are packaged. It is their responsibility to ensure that the waste is managed according to the laws of the country. If they fail to do so, they can face fines.
3. Colombia: The government of Bogota in Colombia imposes a fine of 106.0222 pesos (40 Euros) on citizens who do not separate their waste according to their laws. They also have a team of patrolling agents that keep watch for offenders.
4. Spain: Citizens of Spain need to be concerned about how they recycle because their garbage can be checked and if they are found guilty of not using the prescribed methods, they can be fined. These fines can vary from 90 to 250 Euros. The government has also made it mandatory that the civic authorities make the necessary recycling aids available to their citizens.
5. UK: In the UK, citizens and organizations found guilty of not separating their waste can be asked to pay a fine towards a specific environmental project. Organisations have the liberty to choose from a list of such programs and fund them. They can also be asked to pay up to £250,000 depending on how serious their offence is. In extreme cases, offenders can also face criminal prosecution.
6. United States: The US is using technology to enforce recycling regulations. In some cities and states, they are experimenting with a radio frequency identification chip (RFID) that alerts trash collection agencies to the amount and weight in the respective cans. In some other locations, a small computer records details of a user who is not recycling correctly and the relevant fine is imposed. These fines can range from 25 to 100 dollars (from 23 to 94 Euros).
So you see, all over the world, governments are trying their best to educate their citizens and enforce recycling laws. Even so, a school of thought feels that citizens making honest mistakes like putting their waste in the wrong cans should be excused. However, strict fines should be imposed on repeat offenders and people that leave trash in the streets. People who inconvenience their neighborhoods and fellow citizens by how they dispose of their waste should be dealt with firmly.