current info

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What will it take to reduce the cost of cleaning up the litter, trash and pollution in our County?

Jon Devine’s Blog

Taking Out the Trash

                    "What will it take to turn the corner on restoring the environmental (and economical) treasure that is the Chesapeake Bay?", asks Anne Arundel County Councilman, Chris Trumbauer.[1]  Delegate Lafferty (D - Dsitrict42, Baltimore County) is proposing legislation to require  "...the operator of specified stores to establish an at-store recycling program for plastic carryout bags; requiring specified stores to print or display specified language on plastic carryout bags; requiring specified stores to provide collection bins for the recycling of plastic carryout bags"[2]  HB 169 is an attempt to do more than wish the Chesapeake Bay and our local landscapes clean of litter and pollution. The significant change in our ecosystem resources means that the "free" services upon which we depend are changing. Trash in the waterways is just one symptom of the degradation of the environment in which everyone of is lives. And because we may not see the trash or the damage, it does not follow that it is not there.
               CouncilpersonTrumbauer points out that "[w] need to consider the long-term impacts of an impaired Bay when we consider the current investments needed to secure our fisheries, recreational activities, maritime industry, and other benefits of a restored Bay."[3]  The costs of throwing our trash into the common areas is not zero; externalizing our trash onto others is a significant cost to everyone. Allowing trash and pollution to enter into the river systems and open spaces is a form of taxation; a cost to everyone. So the question is why should I pay so that you can make a profit at my expense? Why shouldn't the litterer, who is not thinking about future ecological impacts at the moment, pay for the ease of disposal?
               Without a willingness to try new things we are doomed to sink into a landscape filled with litter, trash, pollution and waste. Is this what we want our community to look like?.  Prince George's County spent $2.15 million on for picking up roadside trash in the 2007 and $2.72 million in the 2008. Any thoughts to how much we are paying today?  And the costs for picking up roadside trash in Prince George’s in those years were nearly two to three times higher than for other metropolitan counties in the Washington-Baltimore region.[4]  It is evident to me that voluntary measures are not enough, that I am paying an ever increasing amount in taxes to clean up after someone has externalized his or her trash into the environment because perhaps it took too long to find a trash can or because it was simply easer at the moment to use the supposedly infinite service of the ecosystem to remove the litter from sight.
               There should be a discussion about accountability for personal and corporate actions. We ought to explore new ways to meet the challenges of an increasing population with a corresponding decrease of natural resources. And yes resources are decreasing, for after all there is a finite amount of land on to which to throw our trash, and a fixed amount of water to receive it. Addressing these issues is PG 402-12, sponsored by Delegate Barbara A. Frush (Democrat, District 21, Anne Arundel & Prince George's Counties, Prince George's County - Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags authorize "Prince George's County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for use of disposable bags under certain circumstances; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the authority for Prince George's County to impose a fee for use of disposable bags."[5]   Some consider this a new additional tax, but it is not; the clean-up tax already exists imposed on all of us by the wanton act of throwing  trash without a care or thought into the ecosystem,  

[1] Chris Trumbauer,  Anne Arundel County Councilman.  It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up. January 21, 2012 [accessed January 23, 2012]

[2] HOUSE BILL 169. Bill is in the House - First Reading Environmental Matters. [accessed January 24, 2012]

[3] Chris Trumbauer,  Anne Arundel County Councilman.  It’s Time to Put Up or Shut Up. January 21, 2012 [accessed January 23, 2012]

[4] Margie Hyslop. County’s costs for roadside cleanup are highest in state. July 31, 2008. [accessed January 24, 2012]

[5] Legislation - Bill History: PG 402-12 Prince George's County - Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags [accessed January 24, 2012]  

No comments: