Saturday, February 07, 2015

Get Ready to Endure Seattle's Scarlet Letter of Shame

Seattle's leftists have unleashed their Garbagestappo. Henceforth, Seattleistas who fail to sort their trash up to the high standards of the garbage man who serves their street will have a red flag attached to their rubbish bin. This scarlet letter of shame is meant to alert all of the neighbors that here lives a scallywag, a desperado and a ne'er-do-well. The owner of that garbage will be known in all the land as an environmental despoiler of the worst order. It's a bit like circulating those notices that warn that a sex offender has moved into the area. Although in some Seattle neighborhoods, the sex offender would probably be more welcome.

"I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, one of the moral enforcers who drives a garbage truck for one of Seattle's waste contractors, Recology Clean

Scapes. They don't slut shame in Seattle. They scrap shame. If you throw into your trash bin leftover food that the garbage man deems better suited to the compost heap, he can hang the red tag on you.
All your neighbors will start whispering: "Did you hear? John and Jane were caught tossing out an old Jello salad in their trash. And with a perfectly good compost bin nearby too!"

Suddenly, those invitations to backyard barbecues that you used to take for granted will dry up. Your social standing will suffer. Your kids will get laughed at on the playground. You'll lose your country club membership. You'll probably have to move somewhere else, change your name and start over.
But that's just the warning phase of the new law. In a few months, the garbage man can write you a ticket that comes with a fine. The fine's not much, only $1 per offense. But you know about camels that manage to sneak their nose under the tent flap.

I have often wondered how the left reconciles its hatred of the police with its love of the police state. In a police state, there are government enforcers for just about everything. In Washington, not even cake decorators or florists are left alone. And in Seattle, the police state has gained a new division - the refuse technician. If you offend his environmentalist sensibilities, then he has the authority to mete out punishment.
"Right now, I'm tagging probably every fifth can," Watkins told Seattle public radio station KUOW. "I don't know if that's just the holidays, or the fact that I'm actually paying a lot more attention."
After raising the lid on one garbage can, he lamented to the reporter, "You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds. All that makes great compost. You can put that in your compost bin and buy it back next year in a bag and put it in your garden."

For some reason, I'm reminded of a classic scene from the movie, "Fight Club." Brad Pitt rummages through dumpsters behind liposuction clinics to retrieve plastic bags filled with discarded human blubber that he processes into boutique soaps. He then markets those soaps to high-priced bath stores for $20 per bar and marvels at what the customer must be paying.

"We were selling rich women their own fat [rear ends] back to them."

Watkins was especially offended when he found an entire red velvet cake in one waste container. KUOW described him as "disheartened" at the discovery.

Oh the heartbreak of the professional environmental moral exhibitionist!

Frankly, I'd be a little disheartened myself if it were my job to inspect everyone's garbage can for half-eaten hamburgers, banana peels and that forgotten pizza slice that shuffled its way to the back of the refrigerator where it remained for weeks until it molded over.

Pressuring citizens to sort their garbage is nothing new in the Meccas of liberalism. San Francisco has been mulling over similar laws for years. Last year, Massachusetts banned unsorted garbage from large institutions from its landfills. Henceforth, cafeterias, hospitals and grocery stores must divert their food waste to composting facilities, animal feed or, if it is still wholesome, to human consumption.

Americans do throw away an awful lot of food. In fact, of all the food harvested in this country, only about 60 percent is actually consumed. The rest is discarded or spoils. And we should look for a solution.

But leftists never let an opportunity to expand the police state go to waste.


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