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Guest Opinion: Sorting requirement for food waste is ridiculous

By John Cortesi–
Going green. Recycle, reduce, reuse. Plant a tree for Arbor Day. These were some of the things we were taught and heard frequently in the 1990s.

Recycling and acting appropriately with your trash were socially influenced and in many cases ignored. Sure, we recycled cans and I dumpster dove to make a lot of money for comics and baseball cards.

Fast forward 30 years, and we find ourselves being oppressed by a leader writing pet legislation that makes zero sense. “Oh my goodness we need to reduce methane emissions, so separate out the food from your trash”

Sorry, super-smart politicians, but that does absolutely nothing for methane emissions. The food is going to decay regardless of whether it’s still stuck to a pizza box or sitting somewhere else, and you guessed it, it’s still going to release exactly the same amount of methane. The mass doesn’t change from moving food to a specific can.

So why does one politician think this will work? Could it be ignorance, or do they have some other agenda? I don’t know. What I do know, is laws are meant to protect the people, not arbitrarily dump the problems on citizens and give the state ridiculous reasons that no human will tolerate to fine them arbitrarily and in fact pointlessly.

In fact, this law clearly spits in the face of the California Constitution in levying pointless fines, requiring more costs by forcing a new group of employees to INSPECT your garbage.

What is the standard for determining contamination? How do you avoid this fee if they don’t even provide a container that can carry your food waste (no, that tiny container they wasted tax payers money on is not big enough to collect the food from a household).

It is no secret we need to reduce emissions. The only ways to do that are switching to solar and other forms of renewable energy, reduce our reliance on things we produce that generate emissions, like dairy, pork and beef farms. Sustainable farming and energy production are our only options.

This is literally dumping the problem on the individual. That is not what our taxes pay for. We don’t pay to have our trash inspected by someone with a high school education, with no guidelines approved by the citizens to be arbitrarily fined.

Also, how are we supposed to keep anyone from putting items in our trash cans after we put them out? How do they prove that didn’t happen? How do they circumvent the fact the moment your cans hit the curb they are legally city property and not ours?

The thing is, I don’t think the legislation provides explanation that trash and refuse are not our responsibility once they hit the curb, and due to that oversight, there is no legal way to enforce this.

I know one thing for sure. Some uneducated politician who doesn’t understand shuffling a problem around, creating new tax burdens and trying to dump them on our citizens is a cowardly and unacceptable way to attack our out of control methane emissions.

The food is going to rot, either way; no matter if it is sorted magically into a tiny can the trash people don’t even have a place to collect, or left in the can traditionally, because it’s you know – trash.

My opinion? Go inspect the legislators and politician’s trash and when they haven’t told their servants or housekeepers to separate it, publicly shame them until the matter is dropped.

John Cortesi

Thank you for reading. Protect your rights. Speak out against politicians overreaching on pet projects. I welcome arguments and opinions.

John Cortesi is a Citrus Heights resident and a disabled Army veteran with a history in security and law enforcement services.

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