Dumps, recycling, and reusable bags

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Sometimes all the news seems to be about one topic. This week, we have a lot of local stories that ultimately come back to waste: how we deal with it, where it’s going, whether it’s worth any money and how to avoid generating it in the first place. It’s a problem that’s always with us, even if it’s not always explicitly in the headlines.

First of all, the plot of the illegal dump story thickens with this news about two more things that might be illegal dumps on the property of Henry Chiles and/or his Crown Orchard company. I was saying to someone last week that for people who live in the country, it’s no surprise that ad hoc landfills exist; maybe the size of that first Chiles dump is surprising, but that’s about it. It’s all a reminder that no matter how nice our official community systems are, individuals ultimately have the responsibility and power for keeping their our county clean. And not everyone, alas, is on board.

Speaking of official community systems, recycling is not as pretty a picture these days what with the economy bringing down prices for paper and metal, as the Daily Progress reports. The McIntire facility might be closed on Mondays starting in July. That doesn’t mean no recycling, of course, but it’s not exactly the direction you’d hope to see things go.

This is more the direction you’d hope to see things go: the City is setting up a reusable bag program where businesses agree to give a 5-cent rebate at the register to folks who bring their own bags. Lots of people already do that, of course, but incentives can’t hurt. Fewer plastic bags might save us the equivalent of an entire illegal dump someday, folks.

One final thought, ripped off from William McDonough: Waste equals food. Maybe even peaches.  

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