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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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‘Nothing is really disposable’

To whom it may concern:

 

Well actually it concerns us all. Waste and the "disposal" of it is a huge issue and not just because of the landfill and its closing, but it is particularly poignant that I write this letter on Earth Day. Not one to jump into the fray, but last weeks editorial in The Valley Reporterwas so far off base I'm moved to respond. Here I go...

 

First, nothing is really disposable. We, the Earth, the people that produce and transport goods and the final resting place of unwanted stuff becomes an increasing concern not only here in our little valley but all over the world. As a Moretown resident, the affordable dump fees are one "perk" to living here. We don't have fancy restaurants, ski resorts and condos to puff up our coffers, just the dump and and the Country Store. When Hurricane Irene hit, who took the mountains of refuse lining the streets from yours and the surrounding communities? The landfill, no questions asked. For that alone we should be kind to this unfortunate but necessary modern construct. We should be thanking them for being there, not closing it down.

 

If your "world" charges exorbitant fees for trash and recycling that deserves to be looked at. Now with one remaining landfill the state is essentially at the mercy of a monopoly and paying to truck mountains of trash is a fact of life...a stupid fact at that. My 50 cent fee was one of the great joys of going to the dump, sure, rather than your $3.50 or worse, and you know the greatest joy for me? Free recycling. In the editorial it was obvious you had never been to the dump, because the rationale was so skewed. So people recycle less with cheap trash? No, we recycle more with free services like commingled recycling, free metal recycling, computer, electronics all free and other like appliances and motor oil at a very fair, greatly reduced fee.

 

This encourages people to do the right thing. I went to the transfer station; what cost me $3 is now $30. What is ridiculous, dangerous and even criminal is paying to get rid of things that others turn around and sell for a premium, like metal. Your diatribe on rates and its effects is way out of line.Tell me this...would you rather pay $5 to dispose of an armload of old papers (totally happened to me) or do it for free? On most dump days I smell the compost facility next door.Are we going to close that down as well? It’s up to the adjacent landowners to settle their dispute without affecting the entire region.

 

True people are wasteful and my time there is usually spent dragging recycling out of the bins and putting it where it belongs. On that note, more jobs could be made and certainly more responsible practices in dealing with our waste become common place. Re-useable materials could be separated out, sold, given away, dismantled and recycled, etc. But before that, allowing the NIMBY folks to win here seems like bowing to some cabal surely gunning to close the place to make more money, whether with neighboring property or increases in disposal/hauling. That is just as wrong as continuing to behave like our waste stream is someone else's responsibility is one of our shared problems to deal with.

 

I have heard more than once frustrated folks plan on burning, burying and wrongfully trashing our great state due to the closure. I don't blame them. In the old days, it was fine, but now with plastics and persistent toxic chemicals everywhere we have to be more proactive, less reactive. Blaming affordable trash rates for laziness is way out of line; more likely look closely at the high cost of disposal, recycling, and trucking to some other state (so wrong) and there you have your answer.

 

Quimby lives in Moretown.

 

 

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