Monday, February 15, 2010

Greensboro requires residents to waste water and then pay for it

In the mid-nineties the City of Greensboro Environmental Services Department began its world class Recycling Program. I tried to change it and I got in big trouble. You see, the new Recycling Program required the rinsing (washing) of cans, bottles and jars before they are put out for collection. I asked, “How much water does it take to wash recyclables?” Nobody knew.

I did some measuring. I also observed my wife and my kids rinsing out our family’s recyclables. I found the practice to be an enormous waste of water. Ever try and “rinse out” a peanut butter jar ...or a mayonnaise jar? My kids wasted 1 liter of Greensboro water each time they rinsed out a 2 liter soda bottle.

Water Director Ray Shaw had absolutely no complaints about Greensboro’s new Recycling Program that would waste Greensboro’s precious water. Can you guess why? Shaw sold Greensboro water for a living. Recycling meant that citizens would now begin purchasing more water.

Shaw’s career dream was to build the Randleman Dam. The faster Greensboro’s water ran out, the sooner he could get his Randleman Dam approved and funded. He was already lowering the reservoirs by offering discounts and incentives to use (buy) more water. Shaw's water prices were the lowest in North Carolina and yet Greensboro was claiming water scarcity. DUH. Recycling’s “rinsing” requirement was a big bonus for Shaw and the dam scammers.

Greensboro’s Recycling Program wastes Greensboro water…but it increases water sales. When you are washing your cans, bottles and jars have you ever thought about all the water you are wasting (purchasing)?

See how much fun it is being a Water Conservation manager.


  1. Hi Mike, fist of all I wanted to wish you luck on your battle with bone canser. Not an easy road to travel.

    Second, I am just curious, I live in a area where cleaning of item deemed for recycling is not required. Does it not all come out in the wash during the process? Just wondering why some communities require the cleaning and other don't.

    Tony Corniel

  2. Rinsing (washing) recyclables means fewer flies, ants, rot and smell while items wait to be taken. Greensboro inflicted the rinsing requirement on itself when the reservoirs were running out of water. That seemed foolish but nobody cared. Thanks for the comment. You are one of a very few who comment here.