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Boston’s Big ProblemsBoston’s Big Problems

Chaz Miller

February 27, 2015

2 Min Read
Boston’s Big Problems

Boston has a big problem—two actually. The winter of 2015 has blessed Bean Town with 7.5 feet of snow. The city is on its way to setting a snowfall record. And that creates a problem. As Dr. Seuss wrote, “all that deep, deep, deep snow, all that snow has to go.” But where? And worse yet, how does the city pay for snow removal?

According to the Boston mayor’s office, the city has removed 19,000 truckloads of snow and plowed 285,000 miles of roadway since the storms started. But what to do with all of that snow? According to an article in The Boston Globe, the city is using five “snow farms,” or if you will, vacant lots, to handle the snow. The city also has special snow-melting machines that vaporize snow and turn it back into water at the rate of 400 tons an hour. In addition, the mayor’s office is reaching out to innovators for ideas to solve its snow-removal problems. If you have an innovative idea, contact the mayor’s office now. Operators are standing by.

Wherever the snow ends up, the city has to pay for its removal. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city has already spent about $36 million on snow cleanup, which is double its budget. Winter is not over and more snow is predicted. One thing is certain–Boston taxpayers will pay even more for snow removal before spring arrives in May or June.

But wait. Mayor Walsh hopes to transfer that cost to you and me by getting the federal government to reimburse 75 percent of Boston’s snow-removal costs.

I feel your pain, Mayor Walsh, but I have my own snow removal to pay for. So I have a simple solution. Let’s apply extended producer responsibility to snow removal. The idea behind extended producer responsibility is that if we hold the manufacturer responsible for all the costs of its products, including recycling or disposal, the manufacturer will find a way to lower those costs.

Since God is responsible for making snow, He (or She) should pay. I say to Mayor Walsh, send the bill to the Pearly Gates. God is the ultimate responsible entity. I am sure He will live up to His responsibilities.

And who knows, maybe spring will come early as a result.

About the Author(s)

Chaz Miller

Semi-retired, 40-year veteran of the waste and recycling industry, National Waste & Recycling Association

Chaz Miller is a longtime veteran of the waste and recycling industry.

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