Recycling is easyIt has been pretty easy to recycle in...

the Forum

February 17, 1993

Recycling is easy

It has been pretty easy to recycle in Baltimore City since the city government, many months ago, started picking up recyclables at everyone's home (if you live in a house or rowhouse).

Put newspaper, cardboard, junk mail and writing paper mixed in a paper bag. Put rinsed, caps-off bottles and cans and glass jars in a blue bag that the supermarkets give with your groceries.

Put the appropriate bags out at the same place your trash goes, on your second trash collection day, Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

One week mixed paper is recycled, so put out your paper bags. The next week will be bottles and cans, so you put out the blue bag, and it keeps alternating like that.

OK, so maybe the alternating week schedule is a tiny bit tricky without a schedule. If any of your neighbors recycle, though, you can put out the same type of bag.

If it gets picked up, you had the right material the right weeks. You can also call 396-5916, the city recycling office, and they should be able to give you the recycling schedule.

So what's holding you back? If you did not know about the recycling program, now you do.

Do you think it doesn't help? It does. Recycling saves landfill space, scarce in the city now. It saves natural resources like forests, saves energy and cuts pollution in the manufacturing of new products from recycled raw materials.

Too hard? Nonsense. Since the city picks up recyclables at your home, all you have to do is put the paper or bottles and cans (whichever week it is) in the right bag and put it out where your garbage goes.

It's easy to recycle, it's free and it's positive. Let's just do it now!

Tom Garrison

Baltimore

Norplant is a Pandora's box of hazards

The noted psychologist John Sanford once observed that for God to have put man in the Garden of Eden, show him the fruit of the tree of knowledge and tell him not to take a bite, then leave him alone with the fruit was equivalent to a parent who shows a child a jar of cookies, tells the child not to eat them and then leaves the child alone.

"Why should God have been surprised that man tasted the apple?" Sanford asked. "Although Adam was 'told' about the consequences, no experience in his short life could possibly have prepared him for the full impact of his actions."

Similarly, providing the five-year contraceptive Norplant to teen-age girls is like handing them the cookie jar. We have to anticipate that sexual activity will increase among teen-age girls who are already sexually active and that it will engage many more who had been abstinent.

Those who provide Norplant must take responsibility for these consequences:

At a time when 20,000 Marylanders are already HIV positive, new studies show that due to user error condoms cannot protect teen-agers against AIDS.

Moreover, new drug-resistant forms of sexually transmitted diseases (including an extremely contagious form of pre-cancerous warts) are occurring in teen-agers despite condom use.

A Texas study reported that half of condom users say they would not use condoms if Norplant were available. So Norplant's availability could result in an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

This is already happening. While attending a national conference sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in Washington, D.C., recently, program directors in Texas, Arkansas and New York City told me of the rampant increase in sexually transmitted diseases among teen-agers.

Because of the numbers involved, some of these diseases -- such as the human papilloma virus, which exists in one in 10 sexually active adults -- pose at least as great a danger as AIDS. Others, such as chlamydia and herpes II, may cause permanent sterility.

One person at the table observed that if such trends continue, the number of young women dying from cervical cancer or becoming sterile will itself produce a drop in the birth rate eventually.

In that light, the fears expressed by African-American groups about Norplant as a form of ethnic population control have an eerie ring of truth. We must act responsibly by increasing funds to the kinds of programs that provide real protection to our children: teen mentoring, after school activities, community youth coalitions, youth employment, peer counseling, teen support groups, school counselors and pupil personnel workers, and resistance and resilience training for students, teachers and parents.

True, these things costs more money and take more time. But the payoff will be healthy children who have a future.

Deborah George Wright

Westminster

'Different'

Every day there is talk of gays in the military in the newspaper and on TV and radio. Doesn't anyone remember our history?

Blacks were severely limited in their opportunities to fight in World War II. But they distinguished themselves in every unit they served in.

Japanese-Americans were confined in camps because of fear they would give information to the enemy.

That became one of the biggest disgraces in the country's history.

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