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Cavalier attitude toward trash disposal hurts area



Published: Wed, February 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Cavalier attitude toward trash disposal hurts area

EDITOR:

The San Francisco board of supervisors recently sponsored a resolution asking if San Franciscans should mandate that their local grocery store assess the customer 12 cents for each bag used to package grocery items. The real intent of the measure is four-fold: force grocers to package groceries more efficiently, help ease pressures on the area's landfills, raise several million dollars to support clean-ups mandated at various landfills and to bankroll a modern, multi-million dollar regional solid waste treatment facility.

Solid waste disposal is treated no less seriously in every densely populated area all along the west coast. Disposal of a ratty sofa will, for example, cost you anywhere from $15 to $30 in San Diego County to dispose of. Not a day goes by in just about every metro West Coast area when you won't hear at least a dozen public service pleas on your favorite FM channel exhorting you to "pitch in," "give a hoot" and "keep California golden." Recycling centers that accept aluminum, tin, steel, glass, plastic, cardboard, newspapers, magazine, etc. are just about everywhere. Some people actually make a living taking these items to community recycling centers. Many small towns on the West Coast operate recycling centers to help fund improvements in their local communities.

Contrast this with solid waste disposal practices here in Mahoning County. People move their entire living and bedroom suites out to the curb on Wednesday night and by early Thursday morning a trash collector drops by, casually throws all of it into a waste compactor on an axle and simply drives in the direction of the neighbor's rubbish. Bing, bang, boom. No problem. Total cost? A whopping $8 a month. (Who said living in the stone age didn't have its positive side?)

Did you ever notice how many people in this area combine their emptied aluminum and tin cans, glass and plastic containers in with their garbage in these parts? Even though recycling in Mahoning County is curbside and free, many people see no reason to take the time to toss these materials in brightly identified plastic tubs (provided free of charge no less) for a bi-monthly pickup.

Did you ever notice how unconscious most grocery clerks are regarding the use of plastic grocery bags when bagging your groceries? A quick stop to buy a five pound bag of kitty grub most likely will get you double-bagged. Did you notice how plastic has become the packaging container of choice over fiber bags made of recycled materials for all grocers in the region? A material that has a life span of about 50 years buried in a landfill has managed to trump a bag of recyclable pulp with a life span of about 60 days.

Wake up Mahoning County. Try taking a few simple steps that will help everyone living in these parts to be identified as a 21st century human being. How much revenue can the county raise and how many public services would the county be able to continue funding by simply increasing sanitation charges from a paltry $8 a month to $8 a week?

AL BLAZO

Youngstown

Martin should get a medal

EDITOR:

The vilification of former police chief and captain James Martin represents a low point in contemporary jurisprudence. It speaks of a generation that is unable or unwilling to discriminate right from wrong.

Chief Martin's idea of corporal punishment of youthful offenders is an excellent one. It should be appreciated and supported by all parents and the entire community. Chief Martin was doing everybody a favor, including the kids he slapped.

Of those who are skeptical about the merits of physical punishment, one may well ask: What's more important, to save your little darlings' derrieres from the humiliation of a few slaps, or to help divert them from potential dangers lurking in their future?

The unjust, shortsighted prosecution of this good and well-meaning citizen should be stopped at once. The continuation of the witchhunt in federal court is revolting, scandalous and ludicrous. The governor of Ohio should intervene in his behalf by recognizing Chief Martin's noble efforts and honoring him for setting an example worthy of being following by police chiefs everywhere.

GUSZTAV VERES

Fairview Park




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