People should take responsibilty for the waste they produce

Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008

I much appreciated the sentiments expressed in the letter from Zoa Conner ["How ‘trashy' is your family," Maryland Independent, Nov 26] regarding waste and recycling.

In this new era of shrinking government revenue it is appropriate to point out that while we wait for our government to solve all of our waste problems for us we can and should have been taking action on our own.

When my family moved to Hughesville from Indian Head 16 years ago, we left behind a weekly curbside recycling pickup service. In Hughesville, we continued to collect and sort our recyclables and took them to the county-sponsored pickup at the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative headquarters in Hughesville. Later when the landfill opened, we took our sorted recyclables there.

Our household generates nearly one full 50-gallon bag per month of plastic, metal and glass, cardboard, and a small pile of daily newspaper including our Independent. In addition, we fill one large green tote a week with nonrecyclable waste for pickup by Waste Management.

I estimated I would need almost two totes a week if I did not recycle. If this math applies to other county households, we could greatly extend the life of our only landfill if we all pitched in.

You can help. The county recycle process makes it very easy to drop off recyclables. You don't even have to pre-sort them anymore. Fill heavy duty bags, with glass, metal, plastic, newspapers and it all goes in one compactor. Dropping it off is essentially a drive through. The landfill staff are friendly and will help you unload.

Don't forget your old computers, refrigerators, air conditioners, bulk metal shelves, used engine oil etc. They will take that too. On the first Saturday of each month you can take your other household hazmat materials: old paint, cleaners, solvents etc. Please don't wait for your government to take care of this. Government has their plate full. This is your problem, your waste, take responsibility, do something.

The new year is approaching; a new resolution perhaps?

Art Payne, Hughesville