The following Letter to the Editor of the Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Maryland, was published in its print edition on June 18, 2011. It also can be found online.
To the editor:
The Third Annual Boonsboro Green Fest drew approximately 2,200 visitors, most from Washington County, with some guests from as far as California, Colorado and Massachusetts. As chairperson of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, I had the pleasure of meeting many individuals sincerely interested in continuing to move toward a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Many appreciated the opportunity to recycle numerous items from old sneakers to electronic devices.
Questions repeatedly asked were, “Why is there no curbside recycling in Boonsboro?” and “Why is there not countywide recycling?” One resident assumed, of course, that there was curbside recycling and wanted to know where to pick up a recycling bin. It becomes increasingly difficult to even speculate on why, in the year 2011, 41 years after the first Earth Day, there is not even the most basic attempt to reduce landfill waste. Our task force is heartened by the fact that two more communities, Smithsburg and Clear Spring, have adopted curbside recycling. We applaud them for acting responsibly.
It is extremely disappointing that Boonsboro, Washington County’s second-largest community, remains without this service. The majority of the Boonsboro Town Council chooses to dismiss at least two valuable community resources that would help to assure a successful curbside recycling program. One is generous donations from the Nora Roberts Foundation for the purpose of curbside recycling and the other is the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force, which stands ready to promote and support this endeavor. Yet the council has remained so steadfast to twice-a-week trash service that adding curbside recycling to the equation provides the easy out of appearing too expensive. A simple solution, and one that has yet to be properly examined, is once-a-week trash collection and once-a-week recycling pick-up. Anyone who recycles knows that this is more than sufficient. The town would not be taking away a service, but adapting the service to meet the needs of the community and the environment – protecting our future, not clinging to the past.
Hopefully, community members who value good stewardship of the earth will encourage council members to request bids for recycling for the fiscal year beginning in July 2012. Please let your voices be heard on this issue. Attend meetings, become involved and show you care.
Rosemary James, Chairperson
Boonsboro Recycling Task Force