Letters to the Editor

Recycling plea

February 9, 2012


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


snitty 6 years, 2 months ago

This LTE is dead-on accurate. Mandatory recycling makes much more sense than throwing tons of reusable resources in a dump. Lawrence should accept some collective responsibility and stop being so wasteful.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

how about this Elizabeth. You start paying my water bill and house payment and then you can tell me what I have to have in my garage. Othersise I don't give two shakes about how my garbage makes you feel.

tomatogrower 6 years, 2 months ago

It isn't your garage we are worried about. It's the local landfill. If you let us bring all the garbage to your house, then that would be ok, don't recycle.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

how about if I just drop off my recycling at your house

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm amazed how many people would willingly offer their neck for the iron collar of tyranny. (may contain hyperbole) (from a source)

tomatogrower 6 years, 2 months ago

Don't take my right to fill up the landfills and create pollution! After all I could care less what my grandchildren have to deal with. I'll be dead by then, and I've got mine. Who cares about them.

George Lippencott 6 years, 2 months ago

Interesting article. Are there no towns or villages in Brazil where municipal services are lacking and trash goes to the chickens and dogs? I bet there are.

And that is the point. We scream “ability to pay” when we fight the govenator’s proposed income tax cuts but we ignore ability to pay when we create a single point government directed recycling program

Don‘t get me wrong. I want mandatory recycling. I just want to have choices. Like Brazil there are many people in Lawrence who make a lot of money and who can and should be recycling and paying for it – many are. Like Brazil there are many people in Lawrence who pinch quarters (have you notices those in circulation here) and who should be allowed to use muscle power to meet the obligation.

imastinker 6 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence chases off recycling centers. Haen't you heard?

Before anyone tells em about zoning - please point to a part of town that is zoned heavy industrial.

Getaroom 6 years, 2 months ago

Wonderful letter E. Kurata ! Shhhhh.... be very still now! Can anyone hear the sound of 2 required tyrannical polycarts rolling out to the curb - under the cover of darkness?! OMG! Please no collars of tyranny!!!!!!

Hey, I am with "snitty" and "Stain" 100% - this is what makes sense!!! And NO OUTSOURCING!!

Jack McKee, really should hold onto his partially consumed trash until it consumes him, that is the ultimate pro-consumerism sacrifice. He might also read the book "no man's trash is an island unto it's self", if only there were such a book.
Better yet, smug as he is about what's his, is his. How about HE take HIS own trash to the city land fill and see how much it costs HIM! Flat tires, petrol use, and all. Then perhaps protest paying for polycarts if it still seems worth it.

How is it that recycling in this community is a LIBERAL concept? You mean no one else in the world recycles except for a bunch of stoned long haired hippies, in bell bottoms, with wide leather belts and sandals?

Recycling is, in fact, more a conservative mind set than the pro-consumerism of the anti-recycling bunch. Depositing less in the land fill is being conservative. Converting waste into post consumer products is: practical, rational, purposeful and functional. Recycling is pro-conservatism in action. This is a community, communities must share in the responsibility of paying for public services. In this case, it also includes public health. That is LIBERAL?

Uh Oh! Looks like someone calls that tyranny - a mighty scary word there "snap" and you have stepped so far outside of the facts and scope of this issue there is nothing to support you, nothing but the thin air of "tyranny" and necks in collars. Heavy! It really is a shame that Merrill was missing for you today, must have really messed with your mental health. Good sound bitting anyway.

However, if the only purpose for bringing about this upgrade in trash services is to make it ultimately easier(a shoe-in) to outsource to Deffenbaugh for instance, then I might go so far as to call that Crony Corporatism. If the City Council follows that path, it will be a one way, wrong direction and bad decision made for this community. It takes only a few moments to discover the number of communities who have been hood winked by corporations like the Giant Deffenbaugh, who offers a loss-leader-like deal and once in the door - raise prices big time. And ulike the city/county, they are in it for the quick profits and nothing more.

Does anyone hear the snap_ crackle of hoarded plastic bottles and styrofoam containers underfoot in their neighborhood? Might be "Tyranny Man" stalking a wild growth carpet mushroom while making his way through the paths in his pro-consumer abode.

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