Letters to the Editor 06/03/2010
DOWN THE DRAIN
After reading your Earth Day issue I was fired up to find a local or regional hazardous waste disposal day. As recently as two years ago, civic or nonprofit organizations could sponsor a Household Hazardous Waste Pick-up Day. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) would hold one-day pick-ups of hazardous household waste if the event was cosponsored by a civic organization, nonprofit or a local unit of government. I found that none were pending. When I contacted Illinois Times about this, they put me in touch with Wynne Coplea, who’s in charge of waste and recycling for the City of Springfield. She indicated that the Illinois EPA had lost funding so there were no hazardous waste pick-ups scheduled for the downstate.
What happens when there are no hazardous waste drop-offs like this? Items get thrown down the drain, on the ground or into the garbage. Much of this ends up in our groundwater with serious potential health consequences. For example, regular household alkaline batteries contain mercury and other hazardous components that need to be kept out of landfills because of the serious danger these substances present when they get into groundwater. Yet the Springfield Recycling guide that was distributed at May’s colored glass recycling pick-up indicates the IEPA pick-up as the only option for household battery disposal.
So the question that needs to be asked is: When will the people of Springfield push the city to have a once a month drop-off sponsored by the city? When I lived in Columbia, Mo., the city had a monthly household hazardous waste drop-off. You never had the huge lines of cars and major logistical problems that come with people trying to dispose of a year’s worth of hazardous waste in a single day.
Of course, people will say the money isn’t in the budget. Yet the city recently had plans for non-essential projects like a new fountain in one of the parks. People can live without a park fountain. People can’t live without clean groundwater. So I hope the people of Springfield will write their elected officials and push them to begin a city hazardous waste disposal program. I hope it is soon: I have two years’ worth of household batteries to turn in.
MR. PILL AND ME
Much reflection has transpired over this life-changing drug and what it has done for me since I read “Golden anniversary of the pill” [Guestwork, May 13].
Mr. Pill, you gave me a green light. You gave me the freedom to turn love into lust, and in doing so, I did not wait; I lost diginity, self-respect and suffered. The fruits that could have been borne from passion harnessed were lost. Yet I continued to go forward with you. You gave me a doctor who, upon my first visit, advised me that I did not have to inform my mother about you; my mother – the person who birthed me, nursed me, loved me – you told me to deny her. Thankfully, I did not listen.
One night before I ingested you, you inspired an instinct that shouted from the depths of my being. It screamed, “Don’t. Kill me.” I swallowed anyway. You gave me a bald spot on the side of my head. Still, I could not say no to you. Finally, you attacked my heart, giving me palpitations. Horrified by this unnatural beat of life, I stopped. I cut your strings and regained the true freedom of being me. Good neighbors, if you really want to rejoice, I challenge you to respect and celebrate the wonders of life! Naturally!
Janine B. McDonald