Paper Trails: Homefront Security, Part II
This troubling mess in Iraq isnt World War II when rationing, Victory Gardens and paper drives contributed to the cause.
But from every indication, war and misery in the Middle East will persist in ways not knowable just now. One thing is knowable: war is gobbling up American resources in terms of the economy, our standing around the world and, most important of all, human lives.
With the costs of war rising, it makes sense for both the public good and family security to use our resources wisely. A prime example is the challenge of recycling the tons of paper that clog our landfills.
By not recycling, were trashing our increasingly scarce resources.
In Anne Arundel Countys most recent trash survey, county workers wearing waders and rubber gloves plunged into piles of our trash to have a look. What they found was that 50 percent of what were stuffing into our trash bags is recyclable. (Anne Arundel Countys curbside recycling pick-up collects every kind of paper, tin, aluminum and small-necked plastic containers. Separate trucks come curbside to pick up bagged yard waste. Still more unwanted items, from refrigerators to electronics, can be dropped off at recycling centers).
Worse, 65 percent of recyclable stuff trashed was paper!
We can help on the homefront by recycling magazines, junk mail, newspapers and even Bay Weekly (if you dont hermetically seal us, bind us in leather or keep Bay Weekly in a box in a cedar closet with your sweaters.)
Other paper recyclables include advertising circulars and supplements, telephone books, paperbacks, cardboard, grocery packaging, labels on your recyclable cat- or dog-food cans, brochures and hustles from politicians; pre-Palm Pilot address books and junk mail of every variety even the nettlesome sort with plastic windows.
Recycling paper saves scarce resources in three ways. First, landfill space is an expensive commodity with tipping and dumping fees, using greenspace, crowding our society with unnecessary mounds of waste.
Second, rather than wasting our taxes dumping paper, recycling allows the county to make a few dollars to offset the costs of managing our trash.
Third, if we dont recycle, we waste our tax money that is paid on contract to the recyclers who bring their trucks to our neighborhoods week in and out.
Of course, youd have known this had you not recycled the flyer the county mailed you to remind you to recycle your paper.