Less Garbage In, Less Garbage Out
Sean Rowe's article "Why Recycle?" (September 5) was interesting. Instead of recycling, why don't we place more emphasis on reducing the amount of rubbish we create?

Purchase good-quality, long-lasting products and wear out everything we buy. Require building owners to properly maintain their structures and refuse demolition permits unless the building has deteriorated beyond repair. Package beverages and liquids in deposit bottles, return and refill them. Use aluminum cans for all canned foods. Let the unemployed and homeless scavenge all metals unhindered by local ordinances. Use magnets to pull the steel out of the rubbish. If the U.S. Postal Service would charge the full rate, much junk mail would disappear.

Newspapers are about 75 percent advertising. Make the publishers be responsible for collecting and recycling this litter. Pass the costs on to the advertisers. All homeowners should have a compost pile for their waste vegetation. Half a dozen hens in a back-yard pen would eat the kitchen scraps and give fresh eggs in return, reducing the need for styrofoam egg cartons.

Michael E. Gilley

Another Cosmic Imponderable: Does Glossy Paper Have Any Value?
Sincere congratulations to New Times. Your team is becoming influential. In particular, I commend Kirk Semple's work, because he now probably knows more of the people and issues associated with South Florida's environment and development than anyone else on the planet. Jim DeFede's Metro-Dade work is also proving effective. (Hello, arena vote!)

Please follow up on Sean Rowe's timely "Why Recycle?" While the article focused on suburban home-sorting and small-quantity source recycling, the large-quantity material generators (office complexes, et cetera) were not covered. Also, I understand that no recycling is being conducted at the Metro Justice Building because the recycling company recently went bankrupt. If a body can't make any money hauling paper away from a courthouse, then something is just not right.

Mr. Rowe provided many revealing statistics, but the curious facts were left largely unstated. For example, how much newsprint is in circulation in Dade County? Landfill technology has greatly improved over the years, but what about uses for and processing of potentially recyclable materials? Does glossy paper have any value? And is there any place in the U.S. where a nature conservancy has purchased a tree farm for conversion back to "natural" forest?

Are we content to let the world fill up with space-age tree farms, second-generation landfills, and ineffective, corrupt-by-nature transnational recycling monopolies?

Name Withheld by Request

Done in by the New Times Jinx
As one South Floridian who thinks both Maurice Ferre and Xavier Suarez are political scum, I want to thank New Times and writer Jim DeFede for the article "A Tale of Two Mayors" (August 29).

By featuring them both, you assured them of political defeat, just as you assured Miriam Alonso's defeat by featuring her two weeks in a row in 1993 and referring to her as Miami's next mayor. (It was great to see Alonso and her right-wing lunacy go the way of Pat Buchanan.) In fact, New Times's political jinx on local scumbags -- er, ah, politicians -- is similar to Sports Illustrated's jinx on athletes.

After Alex Penelas is sworn in as Dade's first strong mayor, I'll be thrilled to see one of his first vetoes be to negate the stupidity of jerks like Ferre and Suarez regarding a new arena in crime-infested downtown Miami.

I hope Penelas tells Tony Ridder and the spoiled, billionaire brat Micky Arison to stick the arena plans where the sun doesn't shine.

Harvey Slavin


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