Monday, November 24, 2008

Setting the rules for our dumping grounds

Did you see the interesting report in the ABJ this weekend about who gets to dump their waste in landfills operating in the Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne district? Evidently the folk there are getting tired of all the hassles associated with providing dumping grounds for the surrounding counties. Things like noxious smells, toxic leaching, and possible air, ground and water pollution continue to plague Countywide Landfill, for example.

So that district made up some new rules that state quite simply, they aren't going to accept waste from communities that are not recycling at the same or greater rate as Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne. According to the article, 17 counties do not meet that criteria, including Summit. (There is a catch, however -- if a county has a greater access to recycling than Stark-Tuscarawas-Wayne, then they can still dump their trash. Two counties from the list of 17 qualify on access grounds, and that includes Summit.)

Bob Downing's story doesn't answer the big question that leaped into my mind -- why are all these counties unable to achieve higher levels of recycling? Does it cost too much? What is the long term cost of not achieving higher rates of recycling, both residential and commercial/industrial?

One final dismal thought -- if Ohio continues to lose population, we may have to open up the whole state to dumping. If you can't get people to live here, then why not turn it into one giant dumping ground?

Bonus Link: Here's a blog entry about seven quilts that were saved from a landfill. Enjoy the beauty of the saved work and wonder at the minds that thought it was okay to throw away such historic works of folk art.

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