To the Editor,
I liked the Opinion piece "Every day should be Earth Day" in last week's Chieftain, however one issue was conspicuously missing - recycling.
I remember the first Earth Day in 1970 when I was a high school sophomore. The cause of protecting the environment and therefore quality of life on our planet was something I thought we all could support. Although some things have improved since that time (air and water quality come to mind), I am disappointed and disheartened by what we have not accomplished in the past 50 years, and the current backsliding by our national leadership in this regard. We have developed into a wasteful, throw away consumer society. It seems that everything we buy is overly packaged, shipped from long distances in individual boxes which are immediately thrown away. We accrue an incredible volume of trash. I read recently that the average American receives 41 lbs of junk mail per year (I'm sure that I do). Recycling is one of the ways that we as individuals, families and businesses try to address this problem.
The recent decision to discontinue taking glass, tin and aluminum at our popular recycling center caught many residents by surprise. The reason given was that the recycling program was not cost effective, especially now that the market for recyclables has fallen dramatically. I don't expect our governments to operate like a business, just be fiscally responsible, transparent and respond to the needs of the public. I for one, would gladly contribute more for recycling if needed. Quickly filling up what remains of the Ant Hill dump is not the solution. A group of local citizens have formed a task force to look into options for saving recycling in Wallowa County. If recycling is important to you, get involved and express your support to your county government.