When I was a kid, trash simply went away. Over the years, people
were made more aware of the "solid waste problem." Some began
recycling voluntarily (akin to those who now buy organic food). As
the cost of landfill space rose, governments instituted mandatory
recycling programs and bottle bills. Now, as in many communities,
we bin-up an ever-increasing number of recyclables, put out yard
waste for collection for composting (or do it ourselves) and pay
two bucks a bag to have the rest hauled away. (My crowded
garage is testimony that this token payment makes you think
twice before throwing something away.)
Sure, there's economic incentive to recycle now that didn't exist
before, and the infrastructure is set up to make it easy to comply.
But isn't a big part of the growth in recycling the fact that people
are now more aware of the problem and understand that they can
help contribute to solutions?
Of course, this begs the question that we still produce too much
waste, and while landfill technology has improved, we still don't
know what to do with it all.
26 Van Hoesen St.
Cortland, NY 13045