They Make It Tough to Recycle
Editor: I have just moved to Baltimore from Connecticut. Connecticut, a small and densely populated state, had a curbside recycling program for quite some time and recently mandated recycling by law. Anyone who attempts to bring bottles, cans or newspapers to a landfill is fined, and so trash collectors refuse to pick up unsorted trash.
Two years in Connecticut converted me to a habitual recycler, an identity which has caused a few problems since I moved to the Baltimore area.
Waking early one Saturday morning, I filled my car with boxes of cans, bottles and paper and headed off for my nearest recycling center. Because my local center is quite a distance from where I live, I decided to conserve fuel by dropping off my boxes near a place where I had other errands.
I quickly learned that this particular center accepts only bottles and cans, and I was left with several boxes of paper as well as all the cardboard boxes the movers had left from which my husband had spent hours removing the packing tape.
After running my other errands, I drove across town to another recycling center which takes paper. I wondered whether the wasted gas was worth the recycled paper, but I couldn't bear the thought of taking all those boxes back to my house.
Zooming into the parking lot with 15 minutes to spare on the 1 p.m. closing time, I was greeted by a large sign: Recycling Center Closed. The long drive home gave me plenty of time to think twice about this whole endeavor.
As our landfills overflow and our natural resources are depleted, TC am convinced that recycling is not only important but necessary. However, I don't see myself giving up Saturday mornings to drive a car pool for a collection of bottles, cans and paper.
This problem could be solved with a few dumpsters placed in the parking lots of libraries, community centers or shopping malls -- places we normally go. These dumpsters would be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I doubt there would be much chance of someone trying to steal last week's newspaper.
People who recycle are trying to help. Can't someone return the favor?
Catharine L. Ferguson.
Editor: What about the war against social injustice here at home? It certainly is much easier to bomb another country than to attack the ills here.
Supported by an approval rating that surpasses any other in history, our national leader's response to ''fighting crime at home'' is to impose stiffer penalties. As an individual who has been involved with a Baltimore homeless shelter for over three years, I can tell you we have declared war against many of our citizens through the lack of federal support for social justice.
I will be ''proud to be an American'' when we are able to truly empower without charity all our people, when we are able to be more sensitive to the horrors of war and when human beings become more significant than power and wealth.
Carol L. Berman
Speed Isn't Key
Editor: The editorial about increasing the speed limit missed the point about the relationship between speed and safety. If 55 is safer than 65, then should not 45 be the max speed and those deaths that occurred between the speeds of 45 and 55 be listed as acceptable?
Of course not.
It is design that is the key factor. Safer cars have done more to reduce deaths and injuries than the speed limit. Race cars hit the wall at 200 mph, and the disgusted driver walks away. Radial tires, passenger restraints and deformable structures reduce injuries.
The German Autobahn and Italian Autostrada are no safer than our Interstates, but those nations build cars that can safely travel those roads, and they are some of the most desirable (sales demand) cars in the world. Many of our cars have warnings about being unsafe above 85 mph, often with good reason.
Safer designed cars and drivers' tests made on the real roads, not in a parking lot, will, with realistic limits for the road will provide the best safety for the safe, sober driver.
Editor: Your recent story about the Baltimore County Council's receptiveness to the idea of converting the Pikesville Theater into an arts center is another example that county government is losing its focus.
Although the county does not intend to spend taxpayer's money to refurbish or operate the facility, it does plan to use bond issues to purchase the building. When the voters approved those bond issues in prior years, we did not intend for the money to be spent on a cultural arts center. I don't have anything against the arts. I simply do not believe that the government needs to be the financier. There are more pressing areas of need and, frankly, I'd like to see my future taxes decreased.
David W. Ewell.