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Letters to the Portland Editor, August 27, 2010
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  August 26, 2010

NO BLUE-BAG BLUES

Thanks for your article on the price increase on blue bags (see "Dumped," by Andrew Steinbeiser, August 20). The article should also mention another consequence of the price hike: some neighbors have chosen to simply ignore the blue-bag rule and use their own bags. The bags don't get picked up? That's OK! They add more bags to the sidewalk the following week.

My street is strewn with diapers, paper towels, cans, old toys, rotten food, etc., because birds, cats, and skunks tear open the trash bags every night looking for food, and bottle collectors take advantage of the opportunity to look for bottles. Once in a while someone will call the city, the deadbeat landlord will be fined, and he will come pick up some of the trash, but next morning, the trash is back out there to begin a new cycle.

And has anyone noticed how Deering Oaks Park looks since the trash cans have been replaced by "Take In, Take Out" signs? Same story: paper bags, dog poop bags, cans, used diapers, wrappers from 7-11 delicacies under every tree. Good ideas, city of Portland!

Jura Avizienis
Portland

BLUE BAGS — STILL A GOOD DEAL

Andrew Steinbeiser’s article prompted my first-ever letter to the editor. I am utterly appalled at people’s reaction to the price hike. Surly avoiding the late-night “tour guide” skulk Steinbeiser laid out is worth the extra 25 or 50 cents a bag. The fact that people are resorting to this instead of actually cutting down on garbage or sifting under the couch cushions shows the lack of ingenuity, creativity, resourcefulness, and practicality of certain people. I simply cannot believe that this article truly reflects the majority of Portland residents.

I would also like to point out that those who are complaining about the prices need only look to other localities to see how good they really have it. For example, Ireland uses the same blue bags, but they cost five euros per bag. By comparison, our city is providing an excellent service at a very low cost.

If people are feeling the pinch of this price hike so much, perhaps they should consider buying products that do not come with so much packaging, find out how much of their waste is actually recyclable, or find another area of their budget to squeeze.

Julia Brandon
Portland

DON’T DUMP ON ME

This is probably the last time I read your reactionary, hipster, self-righteous, smarmy little catbox-liner of a paper. I live in a neighborhood of Portland that is regularly dumped upon and I personally find it truly sad that your rag finds it appropriate in any manner to suggest that individuals get rid of their trash in any other way than what is lawful.

Have you looked around lately? This place is becoming a shithole. It’s not because of the cost of trash bags. It’s lazy people doing the things lazy people do — take advantage. I friggin love Portland and always will. The family goes back a long way. Stop making excuses for every a-hole who has a problem stepping in line and doing their part. As a true green, see ya later. I am done with you poseurs.

Jim Doherty
Portland

LOWER BAG REVENUE? NO SURPRISE

I hope no one in the Portland city government is baffled by the reduction in sales of the more expensive blue trash bags. This is yet another example of increased taxation (cost) resulting in diminished revenue. Lower the tax (cost), and revenues will increase. People are economic creatures, and they will find creative alternatives in the face of tax (cost) increases.

Russell Frank
Gorham

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