So I feel as if I should love the "Pedal People" who haul trash around Northampton.
What's not to like? They're working hard, getting exercise, keeping a dirty, polluting garbage truck off the road. And as our local newspaper said in a recent article, it takes 5 Pedal People to do the work of 1 person and a garbage truck, so they're great for the economy.
... except they're actually not so great for the economy. True, it takes 5 people to do the work of 1 person plus a truck. But by that logic, it would be better for the economy to hire 50 people to walk garbage to the dump. It isn't, because hiring 50 people is more expensive, and the extra 49 people could spend their time doing something more productive than hauling trash.
Is hauling trash by bike better for the environment? Well, it is a little more expensive, which means the people hiring the pedal people have less money in their pockets at the end of the month (comparing prices, looks likes about
My practical, skeptical side thinks hauling trash by bike is probably a bad idea; I'd love to hear from some Pedal People 10 or 20 years from now to see if most of them are still riding strong or if they're recovering from knee replacement operations. But I do like bicycles, and if the people riding the bikes are happy and the people paying them to ride their bikes are happy maybe I should stop being such a curmudgeon. God knows I spend a fair bit of my money and time doing things that make me feel good for irrational reasons. (Go Patriots! 4 and 1!)
Edited: I confused the Weekly Pedal People pickup schedule with Monthly prices. Sorry!