Wednesday, March 21, 2007

SV recycling on right track

There is a better way to recycle and the city of Sun Valley is pursuing it. Last week's letter by Milton Adam was, unfortunately, inaccurate.

First, the city of Sun Valley is not going to and has never intended to make residents "segregate their garbage neatly into seven piles and many receptacles." Furthermore, the city is not and has never intended to fine or otherwise penalize residents for not recycling. It is truly unfortunate that it has been interpreted this way.

The new solid-waste system that the city is working on is already a proven success in literally thousands of communities across the county. Unlike the old one, this system charges a person more fairly based on use. If you want to throw away more in the landfill, you'll be charged more. If you want to reduce the amount of garbage you make, you can avoid these expenses and save over $140 ever year. This new system puts solid waste more on par with other services like water, electricity, and gas. The more you use, the more you pay.

It's also flexible. If you want to avoid a cost increase, simply start recycling. The choice is entirely up to the resident. It is, of course, my hope that people will make the recycling choice that will save them money and save everyone resources.

While I applaud Mr. Adam's suggestion to create a "garbage processing center," these efforts have failed repeatedly across the country. The bottom line is that what goes into the garbage becomes garbage. This is why separating recyclable materials is so important.

The ERC supports this improvement to the city of Sun Valley's solid waste system. With the community's support, these changes will increase recycling, help curtail a host of greenhouse gases, save energy and help reduce the amount of trash we send to the landfill. Ultimately, who will benefit the most are the children who will inherit world that we are currently shaping. For a complete fact sheet, please e-mail me at

Craig Barry

Environmental Resource Center


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