To the editor:

It's too bad doing the right thing is not always the "best economic choice". It would be nice if local, sustainable grass-fed beef, for example, was the cheapest. Why do we pay more for it? Because we know it's healthier for us and the environment. It would be great if the safest cars/buildings/airplanes could be constructed with cut-rate materials and still be safe. While it may cost less today to consume and pollute as much as we want, it’s like using a credit card: sometime the bill will have to be paid with interest. Alas, that's where the "running the country (or the county) like a business" breaks down. Economics is always viewed in the short term. Our grandparents invested cleaning up the air and the water, in setting aside and protecting public lands for us to enjoy, and in starting recycling programs—none of it was cheap. Don’t we owe it to our children to keep up these legacies? The single-handed decision by commissioner Nash to end a 30-year recycling program appears to take a very short-term view of the issue. At the least the decision seems to warrant more of a public discourse and consideration of options. Admittedly, the best solution is lower consumption: use less no-deposit glass, fewer tin cans, less plastic--no argument there. But I don't agree that we can't afford to recycle: I think we can't afford NOT to recycle.

Randi Jandt

Enterprise, OR

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