Needed: more solid waste solutionsRecycling of solid waste...

the Forum

August 04, 1994

Needed: more solid waste solutions

Recycling of solid waste has certainly become a "politically correct" program. But I question whether we are really prepared for such a program and whether the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Obviously, the advantages include re-use of certain materials such as plastic, glass, paper, metals, etc. that will reduce the consumption of raw materials.

But has this really happened? My understanding is that only the recycling of paper is currently successful because very little means have been provided to recycle the many other materials.

The biggest disadvantage that comes to mind is the increased use of our greatest commodity -- water. Washing the many containers increases the use of water and will probably contribute to adding many more chemicals, some toxic, to our water tables and, ultimately, to the Chesapeake Bay.

We cannot afford to place further demands on our finite water supply; nor can those of us who have wells place additional demands on them.

Other disadvantages include the added cost of time and money to the citizens; the bacteria that develops the longer garbage remains within the households or even in containers on our streets (because of reduced scheduling of pickups); the odors promulgated by same; the lack of storage space in some homes (especially apartments) to prepare, collect and store recyclable items; the increased possibility of drawing raccoons, rats and other rodents and the distinct possibility of discontented citizens discarding more trash along our roadways.

Perhaps we should look at some other alternatives before proceeding too far with this program.

Serious thought should be given to the reduction in the use and manufacture of disposable items. Or, the use of old mine shafts (or tunneling new ones) to dispose of our waste

should be investigated until we develop more efficient and ecologically friendly waste disposal operations.

Ron Praydis

Hunt Valley

Workplace dangers

I cannot believe the state of Maryland's argument for banning smoking in all Maryland businesses. They are trying to say the health and safety of bar and restaurant workers is at risk from second-hand cigarette smoke! Come on -- they just want to try to get Marylanders to stop smoking by putting this law on the backs of restaurants and bars.

Marylanders and employers are tired of government telling them how to live their lives. Secretary of Licensing and Regulation William A. Fogle Jr. is not concerned about the health and safety of workers! Mr. Fogle is either trying to make a name for himself and his bureaucratic state agency by jumping on the anti-smoking bandwagon, or his agency is acting as a pawn for Governor William Donald Schaefer.

What could be easier than notifying every business in the state of Maryland that they cannot allow smoking in the workplace? Gee, what an intensive workplace health program -- having every business remove their ashtrays and put up signs saying No Smoking. This isn't looking after workers' safety -- it is just easy and politically correct to be against smokers! The leading causes of injury to restaurant workers are slips, trips and falls, burns from stoves and ovens, scalding from coffee and hot water, cuts from knives and slicers and being struck by rushing co-workers and swinging doors -- not waiting on patrons who smoke. Why doesn't Mr. Fogle ban all hot coffee and sharp knives from restaurants?

In Maryland last year, not one case of illness or injury was reported to MOSH, or any other workplace regulatory agency, that involved second-hand cigarette smoke.

Hey Mr. Fogle! Thirty workers lost their lives in Maryland in 1992 and not one of them involved second-hand smoke. Six of the deaths involved forklifts -- why not ban all forklifts? What about the hundreds of cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome reported that result from repetitive computer keyboarding? Why don't you ban all computers in the state? These are real workplace safety hazards that result in deaths and illness. This is where the tax money of Marylanders and Mr. Fogel's attention should be focused.

Jim Taylor

Perry Hall

The writer is a non-smoker.

Protecting clinics

Recently I drove past the Greater Baltimore Medical Center and saw the usual seven or so anti-abortion protesters with placards in front of the hospital. What I found very upsetting was not the demonstration, but the gathering of five police officers on the opposite side of the street.

These officers were laughing and presenting a party-type atmosphere. This struck me as highly irresponsible. I doubt there was any need for such a show of force at a peaceful demonstration.

Isn't there a better way to employ Baltimore County police?

I have lived in my neighborhood for almost three years and never in all that time have I seen a Baltimore County police car patrolling this neighborhood.

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