Tuesday, June 24, 2003

MEMO TO A MAYOR: Your Honor, I love New York City. In contrast to what others say, I actually think the Apple is quite clean, relative to similar population centers that are as dense as New York and as busy around the clock. The one new trend in litter that is disturbing me, though, is the propensity to just drop depleted MetroCards on the ground. "Metrotrash" I call it. To which I have a simple idea: Incentivise the collection of discarded MetroCards. Give each card a cash value of, say, five cents. Make them only redeemable in multiples of forty (or eighty) for an MTA ride! Odds are, most people won't bother, but look how hard it is to find a can or redeemable glass bottle on the streets anymore. For a minimal cost, I feel that this quality of life issue can be easily addressed. In fact, perhaps incentivising litter in a general sense can help beautify our city. Allow anyone to cash in trash at a set rate per pound. Of course, certain rules and regulations would have to apply to make sure people don't go around cannibalizing existing trash cans and such, but I believe it can probably be done. Picture even raising the bounty on areas of our fair city that are seeing more than their fare share of litter! Sincerely, Concerned Gothamite

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