I see a petition is circulating to make compost containers an opt-out system instead of an opt-in system. Maybe the idea is that the average Oak Parker is considered too stupid to be able to figure out how to opt in to composting or too lazy to actually make the call. Or maybe the idea is that the average Oak Parker is too distracted to notice the charge or too lazy to opt out.

If the objective is to increase composting, the focus should be on motivating people to want to compost, not on nanny-stating them and insulting their intelligence. I’m not interested because it costs $45.90 per quarter and it’s not worth $45.90 per quarter to me. No doubt opt-out will result in some people paying for it but not using it, which will enrich Waste Management but do nothing to advance composting.

So do what every consumer business does to get you hooked on their product or service. Give me a free trial and let me decide for myself if I’m actually going to use it and if it’s worth the price to me. Maybe I’ll decide I like it. Maybe I’ll decide to compost but not through the Waste Management mechanism. That’s a win for composting even if not for village or Waste Management finances.

Meanwhile, tell me what percentage of Oak Park homes currently pay for composting and what percentage of homes that sign up for it cancel after a year or less. That will give you an unbiased picture of the value Oak Parkers actually place on village-enabled composting. 

And if you don’t know the answers to those questions, do your homework before circulating petitions.

Bob Stigger

Oak Park

Join the discussion on social media!