Reality isn't pretty

Friday, May 9, 2008

To the Editor:

Well, it has happened. We've outgrown our present landfill and now a new site has been selected. My, how much energy is surrounding it. Signs on lawns, people discussing the ramifications.

Blah, blah, blah.

Reality has struck and it is not pretty. As a matter of fact it stinks. Either we are part of the problem or we are part of the solution.

Marshall County has several recycling centers, but how many of us deem it feasible to take the time to sort our trash so that it could be reused. I would estimate that less than 10 percent of Marshall County residents voluntarily recycle, and I am being generous with that estimate. Anyway, who is willing to drive out of their way to make a trip to these sites.

I strongly believe that if there was a site close to Wal-Mart, for instance, that we would be more inclined to take the initiative to do the right thing. But what about how unsightly that would be. Yuck. Though not nearly as unsightly as another mountain of waste reaching for the sky.

I've been taking boxes and reusable sacks to the grocery stores in an effort to eliminate using the plastic bags provided. Upon one visit I explained to the clerk that my intent was to eliminate the plastic from winding up in the present landfill. Her response somewhat shocked me: "Oh you're one of them."

Well, OK, I assume I am "one of them," but on the other hand she is also "one of them." I imagine I'll probably see her at one of the meetings or rallies in the future.

Several months ago I displayed a few items in our library showcase depicting several ways that we could have a positive impact on Marshall County and the environment. After the month of display was over I collected the items and had a sense that little notice was given the display due to its nature. Unless of course you happen to be "one of them."

It now seems to me that the majority of Marshall County residents will want to be "one of them." I see that we have done too little too late. So here we are stuck in the smelliness of it all.

My analogy is this: As insignificant as it may seem, if I continually put pennies into my pocket eventually I will wind up with a dollar. The same is true with recycling. The more of us willing to do it, the more dramatic the impact.

In ending I quote a line from an old O'Jays' song: "We're all in this thing together. We gotta work it out. We gotta work it out."

Rick Braytenbah