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Monday, February 19 2018 @ 12:43 AM AKST

Today was one of those sad days.

Op-EdSubmitted by Sammy Taylor, Mid Valley Recycling

Today was one of those sad days. I felt my usual sense of lost opportunity for a better tomorrow. The Girl Scouts were cleaning house and getting rid of all those old canvas tents and tarps they don’t use anymore. That’s fine, materials change and a nylon tent is certainly easier to deal with than a heavy canvas one. Several of us on hand at the Big Lake transfer site saw the potential uses for that canvas and salvaged some. Yet half the pickup load of useable canvas and rope went into the “can” to be mixed with old oil containers, wet coffee grounds, used diapers, old barbecues and such, destined for a lined hole in the ground.

I feel the same loss when I see wild creatures –like Alaska’s wild Salmon, Rabbit, Grouse, Caribou – caught, killed, cut into pieces, wrapped in plastic , frozen and then finally tossed in a box and taken to the dump. Those are the days when I think of Humans as the most selfish of creatures. To me, It is murder to kill an animal under the pretext of food and then toss it’s body away so thoughtlessly! At the very least people should bury them without wrappings so the body can nourish the ground since its ability to nourish another body was denied it. .

Rarely does a Sunday (my day to monitor recycling) go by that I don’t see useful things or once living matter denied another purpose. There are certainly a lot of factors that contribute to this practice, but we local residents have the power and obligation to change it. We need someplace these items can be set aside until all interested might think of a second or third use for something.

At recycling meetings, volunteers have suggested reuse areas/pavilions at transfer sites where items can be left for a week or so before being ultimately disposed of in the “can.” This will happen faster if citizens individually or in groups like community councils or service organizations let the Borough Assembly know that this is a valuable community service which costs the Borough nothing. Please write or call. Let’s get this done. The sooner, the better!

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