To the editor:
I walk every day, so when I see the mountains of garbage people put out for pickup, I get upset. It’s cringe-worthy to see all the cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and metal going to the landfill. I hear most do not want to pay for recycling because they hardly put out any trash, they do their own recycling, they cannot afford to pay or the bins are too big. The “task force” wants to increase citywide recycling from the current rate of 34 percent. I wonder where they get this figure? I bet it is far less.
College towns like Lawrence are thought to be progressive. I recently returned from two and a half months in Brazil. I was amazed with their recycling system. Everybody separates their garbage into metals, paper, plastic, glass, which is picked up every week. Everybody recycles and everybody pays for it. From what Brazilians told me, Brazil recycles as a matter of policy. Brazil is supposed to be a developing country, yet it is light-years ahead of us in taking responsibility for their trash.
Americans are supposedly the world’s biggest consumers, as well as the world’s biggest garbage producers. Isn’t it time all of us step up and take responsibility for our trash? Although I recycle everything I can, I still want to pay my share for citywide recycling. I believe that unless it is mandatory, most of us will not do it. Let’s all do our part to leave this planet clean and livable for future generations.
Elizabeth Kurata, Lawrence