Archive for January 21st, 2010

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DC’s BAG TAX

January 21, 2010

By Lorraine Cyr  

There sure does seem to be a lot of confusion around this 5 cent bag tax and where there is confusion I am sure there will be confusion around collecting the money and making sure it gets to the Anacostia River Protection Fund.  The stores seem to be about the only one who will be making money from the new tax.  (they no longer have to provide free bags and they can keep 1 or 2 cents from what they collect from the customer)   The following is from the DC web site:  

Beginning January 1, 2010, District businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge you 5 cents for each disposable paper or plastic carryout bag.
 
PennyThe business keeps 1 cent, or 2 cents if it offers a rebate when you bring your own bag.
 
And the remaining 3 or 4 cents go to the new Anacostia River Protection Fund. DDOE will administer this fund. We will use it to provide reusable bags, educate the public about litter, and clean up the river.
Why is the District’s law on paper and plastic bags changing? And when?
The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) conducted a study of trash in the Anacostia River, and found that disposable plastic bags were one of the largest sources of litter. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward Six) and 11 other members of the Council of the District of Columbia co-introduced the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009*, which then passed the unanimously. Mayor Fenty signed the bill July 6, 2009. Most of the new law’s provisions go into effect January 1, 2010.
 
What harm do disposable plastic bags cause?
Plastic bags can trap fish, birds and other wildlife, or become lodged in their stomachs. They can also damage the engines of motor boats by covering the cooling intake.
 
What types of businesses are affected by the bag fee?
District businesses that sell food or alcohol (including grocery, liquor and drug stores, restaurants, and street vendors) will be affected.
 
How does the bag fee work?
Beginning January 1, businesses that sell food or alcohol must charge you 5 cents for each carryout paper or plastic disposable bag.
 
How do I avoid paying 5 cents a bag?
You can bring your own disposable or reusable bag to the store or restaurant. Some stores and restaurants will offer you a 5-cent credit per bag for bringing your own, so you’ll actually save 10 cents. You can also choose not to bag your purchase.
 
What if I can’t afford to buy reusable bags?
DDOE is partnering with a number of grocery and drug stores, District Government agencies, Council offices and various community service organizations to give away tens of thousands of bags to low-income and senior District residents, and we will have even more bags available early next year.
 
You can also bring disposable bags back to the store or restaurant and reuse them, avoiding the fee and receiving a credit on your bill at participating businesses. Finally, if you shop with a rolling cart that you bring from home, consider asking the cashier to put your groceries directly in the cart without bagging them.
 
Does the new law also change the type of bags I can receive when I buy something?
Yes. Under the Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act, businesses that sell food or alcohol may only sell or distribute recyclable plastic bags made from #2 or #4 polyethylene, and the bags must be printed with a phrase that encourages recycling (such as “Please recycle this bag.”). If the business sells or distributes paper bags, these must also be recyclable, contain a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, and be printed with a phrase that encourages recycling.
 
For example, the opaque black plastic bags typically given away at liquor stores cannot be recycled, so they will no longer be permitted to be sold or distributed in the District after January 1, 2010.
 
Are any paper or plastic bags exempt from the 5-cent fee?
Yes. The fee is only designed to cover bags you receive at the register to hold all of your purchases, in businesses that sell food. So, bags used to hold the following types of items are not subject to the fee:

  

  • Bulk items, such as produce, nuts, grains and candy
  • Frozen foods, meat and fish
  • Flowers, potted plants or other items where dampness may be a concern
  • Prepared foods and bakery goods
  • Prescription drugs
  • Newspapers and small hardware items
  • A partially-consumed bottle of wine at a restaurant
  • Paper bags to take food home from a restaurant that has indoor seating
  • Trash, pet and yard waste (when sold in a box of multiple bags)
  • Dry cleaning
Do restaurants have an exemption for paper bags?
If a restaurant has seating, the restaurant will need to charge five cents for plastic bags only–paper bags are exempt. Food courts are also included in this group and are exempt from the paper bag fee. This applies to fast-food restaurants with seating.
 
If a restaurant does not have seating (for example, the restaurant has only a front door and a counter), the restaurant will need to charge for both paper and plastic bags.
 
What will the fee pay for?
The majority of the proceeds from the carryout bag fee will go into the new Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Fund. DDOE will administer this fund, and use it to clean and protect the Anacostia and other local waterways, and to provide reusable bags to residents. Proceeds from a new commemorative license plate and income-tax checkoff will also go into the fund.
 
DDOE will also conduct public education campaigns about the impact of trash on the District’s environmental health, and continue to provide reusable carryout bags to District residents.
 
The retail establishment keeps one cent from the 5-cent fee for each bag. If the business also offers a bag credit program (giving you a 5-cent credit for bringing your own bag), it keeps an additional one cent of the fees it collects.

 

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TALK THE TALK

January 21, 2010

The following is one of the training classes we offer to Associations.  It is from a Landmark Education classes that Lorraine Cyr and her staff attended.  It helps us to be better listeners and more effective Property Managers.  For more information on Landmark please give us a call at 202-669-8080 and we would be happy to share this life changing way of thinking.

BEING A PLAYER IN LIFE:  TALK THE TALK

You’ve heard, “ Walk the Talk”  but first you need to speak the Talk.

Consider there are two types of “talk”.   There is “spectator talk” and there is “action talk” or “on-the-court player talk.”  Consider a membership meeting.  There is talking occurring.  There is talking among the members as they describe, judge and express their thoughts about what the Board is doing and has done.  There is also talk amongst the Board Members and the Property Management Company.  What the members are saying does not have any impact on outcome of how the Board manages the Property.  The talk amongst the Board Members and Management, hopefully, does have an impact on the Property is run.

Spectator Talk:   This talk is done by those in the stands observing the game of life.  Members who do not volunteer for committees or to be on the Board.  This type of talk consists of:

                I feel                I think                I believe                          I justify

 This talk is often times:

                Describing,                Assessing,                Judging,                Evaluating and               Complaining

What is common to all of “spectator talk” is that it doesn’t create or forward any action.  It might be enjoyable but nothing changes as a result of the talk. 

Action Talk or On-the-Court-Player Talk:

“On-the-court –player” talk is designed to generate or forward action to achieve some intended result.  Here are different types of “Action Talk”  Board Members are Board Members because they believe they can make a difference.  The are willing to take action.

                          Action  Talk                                                                                                        Result

                Declaring                                                             A possibility is created

                Committing                                                        Yourself is given to a possibility

                Promising                                                            Your word is give to a specific action

                Requesting                                                         A promise is requested

                Sharing                                                                 yourself and your word is given to another

                Enrolling                                                               A possibility is presented for another such that they are

                                                                                                                touched, moved and inspired.

                Inviting                                                                 An opening for action is created for another.

With action talk at a Board meeting the experience is more up beat with more results achieved.  There is no judging, and no complaining.  If a member has a complaint we ask that they also have a solution.  If they can not offer a solution then there is no room for compromise.  If your girl friend loves roses and every time you give her a gift you give her chocolate, you are not meeting her expectations.  But you would only know this if she shares this with you.    problems are just problems waiting for a solution.  This is why we ask our members to not only share the problem to share who they would solve the problem.

Please share your thoughts by adding a comment.  We would love to hear your ideas.