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Portland Wants Neighbors to Rat Out Composting Scofflaws

Eat your heart out Bloomberg!

5:38 PM, Jun 4, 2012 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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Earlier this year, I wrote a detailed chronicle of Portland, Oregon's quest to make San Francisco look like a relative bastion of political sanity. Well, the hits keep on coming. The city is now proposing to protect the identities of citizens who rat out neighbors who fail to compost properly

The Portland City Council will consider two rules Wednesday that would allow city officials to take steps toward cracking down on garbage and composting scofflaws.

The first would protect residents who tattle on neighbors or others who, for example, throw diapers in their recycling bins or garbage in their composting carts.

Specifically, the proposed ordinance would authorize the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability "to treat complainant information as confidential submission under Oregon Law to provide residents opportunity for free disclosure of alleged violations of administrative rules related to waste disposal and recycling without fear of harassment," according to the city.

The second rule would enshrine the garbage violations in city code, making it illegal to "place in a recycling cart, recycling container or recycling bin any plastic bag, diapers, pet waste, Styrofoam, wood, food, yard debris, or any solid waste; or place in a compost cart or compost container any plastic bag, diapers, pet waste, Styrofoam, or any solid waste."

The Oregonian goes on to note that the city hasn't spelled out any punishments or fines yet, but "property owners [will be] subject to enforcement." For years, it's been something of a joke to call the denizens of ultra-liberal enclaves the "compost or die" crowd. But now Portlanders can look down their nose at the pikers on the Berkeley city council and boast that on they're (finally!) on the way to realizing the dream of a sanitation Stasi to monitor your waste disposal habits. Seriously, the city council of Portland should just go ahead and invest in the surveilance drones already. You know they want to.

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