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Posts Tagged ‘money’

Of all things to write about, I’m very excited about the ‘pay as you throw’ system of garbage collection.  It’s when I noticed how well I was doing with it, lately, that I realized how it can be an excellent way for communities to manage their garbage.

This is how it works in Dubuque.  You pay a monthly fee (under $10 I believe, it is part of the water bill) for garbage pick up. This fee is for one standard sized can.  You can pay extra for a larger can, or if you have the occasional extra garbage, you can buy stickers ($1.25 each) to stick on the handle of another can, or on a bag or larger (within reason) item.

Recycling is free.  There are a lot of items recycled here, we take more plastic than they did in NYC. No matter how much garbage you have to recycle, they will pick it up for free.

They also have yearly yard stickers (that you pay extra for during the spring/summer/fall), or stickers for yard waste.  Some communities have food scrap pickup, but there is a waiting list to get on that.

I come from Brooklyn, where you would have two cans picked up twice a week. Here it is the one can plus recyclables once a week.  I have now managed to consistently stay within my allotment.

In Brooklyn, you got tickets for not putting your recycling where it belonged. Put a soda bottle or box in a trash bag, get a fine.  Here, put that in a trash bag, and waste valuable space.

I never cared much about fines, although I did recycle. I do care about having to run and get stickers if I go over.  I’ve become competent at squishing boxes nicely, and spend more time than I used to contemplating packaging when shopping.  I enjoy my bagged milk, for example.  It takes hardly any space at all, and recyclable!

I know there is a concern about someone using your garbage to throw their extra stuff out.  It has happened, and I’ve seen it happen occasionally. But I am sure there are measures in place to minimize that.  In places that patrol garbage for a can mixed in with paper, they could use those people to fine those who misuse garbage that way. Or roll it out in communities where this is less likely to be a problem.

So, pay as you throw not only has increased my recycling, but it has decreased the amount of packaging I use.  It’s changed the way I think about what I bring into the house.  This is a positive change that is good for me, and my environment.  More communities should look to pay as you throw as a way to increase recycling, and decrease what goes into landfills. The carrot (saving money) works better than the stick (paying fines), I think.

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Remember when you bought a printer, and it came with editing software? And when you got a scanner, it came with text reading software?  Now? Nothing. Just the drivers, and whatever software it has to manage your print queue, and your diagnostic stuff.

Ok, printers aren’t $400 and up any more, but throw me a bone, ok?

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I love the accessibility of computers lately. A nice drop in price, easier to configure.  It’s like they want people to own computers!

And then they kill ya. They kill you with ink prices. They kill you, SLAUGHTER you, with prices for ethernet cable. I just paid $14 for a whopping 3 feet of low end cable from Staples. Apparently, their website is the only place that carries the $8 cable.  I would have asked for help, but the Dubuque store seems to have no employees other than the ones at the register.

Because the cable is so short, I can’t put my printer in the nice little computer armoire I have, but I have to put it on top.   My fault for not spending over $30 on cable, I guess.

Seriously, how can they justify ethernet cable being so bloody expensive? It appears to be nothing more than a glorified phone cable. I can pick that up at the dollar store.

I just hope that the ink lasts a bit. I bought a network printer (hence the need for the ethernet cable) so would like it to last a little longer than one refill and the computer is utter crap and it’s more sensible to buy a new one rather than replace the ink.

A girl can dream, I suppose

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Despite not having uploaded a photo for 3-4 years, I managed to make $22 last month on shutterstock.

Imagine if I actually put effort into it and took photos to upload?

I think I might go through my photos some more, and maybe even take some photos tomorrow on the trip, out in Graf and see if anything is stockworthy.

Couldn’t hurt. And hey, on flickr my photos just sit there and I don’t make money. Might as well have photos sit around and make me a bit, even if its just as little as a quarter a pop.

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