53 year-old Eddie House was proud of his efforts to reduce his waste. Being concerned for the environment, the single bachelor found that his sustainable habits left him with near-zero garbage. With nothing left to throw out that couldn’t be recycled or composted, he did what any individual might do to go the next mile: canceled his garbage service. As a reward for reducing his impact on the planet, House received a lawsuit from the San Carlos Deputy City Attorney claiming he was in violation of not maintaining garbage service. Wow. From the article,
The lawsuit claims House broke the city’s municipal code requiring all residential, commercial and industrial properties to contract with Allied Waste for pickup at least once a week — a standard requirement in most cities, San Carlos Deputy City Manager Brian Moura said. “It’s just me and my dog, so I don’t have a whole lot of garbage to begin with and I recycle everything,” he said.
House recycles paper, metal and plastics, regularly hauling them in his pickup truck to a recycling center and collecting the refund, he said. What little backyard waste he generates is ground into powder by his wood chipper and food scraps are either pulverized by his garbage disposal or eaten by his dog. House’s larger items are either sold or given to people on Craigslist, he said.
Sometimes, I seriously wonder if we’re too wrapped up in silly laws that seek to govern our every step. It’s almost as if we live in a country that believes it will behave in exactly the same way 200 years from now. Change and the rights of the individual are covered in layers of codes and red tape. This is a perfect example. And was it truly necessary to sue? Couldn’t there have been some other action taken to resolve any issues between the city and the homeowner? Ridiculous.