Citizens of Dearborn, Please Read

Do you fear that our world is growing hotter, or do you find the evidence lacking? If I worry about the polar bear, am I the voice of prudent concern or Henny Penny crying that the sky is falling? Whether you believe or disbelieve the climatologists, it makes sense to recycle as much as possible. We in Dearborn have a recycling bin that will take almost anything other than hazardous materials and food waste. Most kinds of paper products, plastics, cans, bottles and boxes can be recycled.

I fill my recycling bin, but my trash bin goes out nearly empty. However, many other Dearborn residents put out their trash and recycling just the opposite. Come on, my fellow Dearbornites, let’s do better. Whether you believe the environmental doomsayers or not, there is no reason not to recycle except apathy and indolence.

It takes no more effort to put a cereal container or a non-deposit bottle in the recycling bin instead of the trash. Refusal to do so would not make you the equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer or Karl Rove, but you would be breaching the social contract to do what you can to protect the environment and avoid waste. You do not have to be a bug-eyed tree-hugger to recognize that less refuse going into landfills is better for many reasons:

1) Landfills are ugly. A landfill is a huge man-made hill that does not fit with the landscape, no matter where it is sited. It may serve as a ski hill in a flat region of the country, but o matter what you do to a landfill it looks like a landfill.

2) Reducing the amount of refuse going to landfills saves money for the city. If you object to higher taxes, reducing the amount of trash the city has to pay to dump ultimately lowers the cost of city services and results in lower city taxes.

3) Every pound of paper, steel, aluminum, or plastic recycled saves oil. Hauling trees to pulp mills and mining and refining metals use up a lot of petroleum products. Plastic is largely composed of petroleum. By saving oil, recycling reduces our dependence on foreign oil producers. How can that be a bad thing?

4) Pulp production and mineral extraction destroy or pollute forests, coastal wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams, and our very drinking water. You do not have to be a radical environmentalist to enjoy hunting, fishing and drinking water.

So, come on Dearbornites; do your part. If it is paper, plastic, steel, or aluminum and it is not full of food residue, it can probably be recycled. Let’s fill up those recycling bins. It is not that difficult.

Thank you for considering my point of view. Whether you believe in global warming or not, recycling now will improve the quality of life of your grandchildren. Do it for them.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2010 John B. Payne, Attorney