Baltimore County recovery center recycles materials
After the May 11 article, "People line up to say goodbye to trash,'' featuring the Baltimore County Resource Recovery Facility (BCRRF) in Cockeysville, we have heard from residents who got the impression that all materials delivered to BCRRF are sent to a landfill.
This simply is not the case.
The facility does serve as a transfer point for Baltimore County refuse, but that is only one part of the story. The citizens' drop-off area has designated sections for residents to place certain recyclable materials.
A long list of items are handled separately from trash, and ultimately recycled, including mixed paper, cardboard, glass, plastic bottles and jugs, aluminum cans, tin cans, bulk metals (appliances and scrap metal), tires, vehicle and boat batteries, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline (by appointment) and even Christmas trees.
BCRRF is a major player in Baltimore County's recycling success. The facility includes a plant that sorts the bottles and cans collected in blue bags from homes all around Baltimore County. Cardboard is recovered from commercial trash in another part of BCRRF.
Materials separated for recycling are transported to area businesses for further processing and use in recycled products.
The Sun's story focused on interesting citizens bringing a wide variety of items into BCRRF but failed to mention the noteworthy array of sorted commodities that depart BCRRF for recycling destinations near and far. The work that takes place ''inside the fence,'' beyond the view of residents, is very important, environmentally sound and worthy of our pride.
People may ''line up to say goodbye to trash,'' but that's only where BCRRF's ''recovery'' story begins.
Charles K. Weiss
The writer is chief of the Bureau of Solid Waste Management for Baltimore County.
Slots haven't won yet; people know the risk
The June 8 news story, ''Growing consensus for slots in Maryland,'' appears to draw its conclusion from a rather small sampling of not-so-representative persons.
With a few exceptions, the persons quoted had little to offer but speculation. Particularly disturbing was the support of the mayor of Baltimore and the president of the Greater Baltimore Committee for the slot machine movement.
After the General Assembly, with angst and controversy, pledged $254 million in exchange for reform of Baltimore school governance, these leaders seem comfortable selling their constituencies and city short by presenting the kids with one of the worst lessons in life: Luck rather than hard work pays off.
Any progress by pro-gambling forces in Maryland has been incremental at best. After three years and nearly $1 million in lobbying fees, the slot machine advocates have not been able to muster a consensus to advance a single slot machine bill from committee.
Granted, gambling advocates made modest progress in directing attention away from the negative effects of addictive slot machines toward the credible goal of saving an important industry in our state, horse racing.
While no member of the legislature wants the racing industry to decline further, all available research points out that demographic changes by consumers more than the absence of slot machines is affecting the popularity of racing throughout the country.
As Yogi Berra said, it's never over till its over. This could not be more true than one of the issue of gambling in Maryland.
No matter what the polls say today or what newspapers may write, Marylanders instinctively know that slot machines, be it at race tracks or casinos, would leave a black mark on our state.
Christopher J. McCabe
The writer is state senator from Howard and Montgomery Counties.
More free programs to protect eyesight
I wanted to commend you on your May 28 article, ''Opening eyes to vision care.'' It is heartening to hear about the dedicated efforts of those helping in the Sight 'N Soul program who are addressing eye care needs for the poor.
I also wanted to thank you for your mention of the National Eye Care Project, a program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
I also want to bring to your attention another of our public service programs -- Glaucoma 2001. This nationwide effort is designed to identify those at risk for glaucoma of any age and facilitate a medical eye exam. For uninsured individuals, the exam is free. Nationwide we have enrolled almost 5,000 ophthalmologists, medical eye doctors, to help in this effort.
For those of your readers who may be outside of the area served by Sight 'N Soul may be at risk for glaucoma, they can call 1-800-391-EYES (3937) for help.
The writer is public service manager for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthamology.
High praise for Roland Park schools
We write to you in praise of Roland Park Elementary and Middle School.
Work commitments brought our family to Baltimore from Wales last year. We came with some concerns about the education of our two school-aged children.