NWA Letters to the Editor

Recycling, trash efforts need more accountability

If the city of Fayetteville, the University of Arkansas and Walmart were serious about sustainability they would be addressing the issue from a different perspective. Personal/corporate responsibility as well as accountability/transparency would be words we’d all be turning into action. Instead, the city spends time with consultants talking about convenience and what people won’t do.

The city writes contracts with companies such that recycling transparency is eliminated. The city avoids answering questions about expensive taxpayer-funded “studies.” Neither the council nor city committees invite end-users (companies that make products from our curbside collected recyclables) to meetings so the public can hear directly from them.

Has your progressive alderman told you to whom the city sells the bulk of our paper? Why, the Koch brothers’ company, Georgia Pacific. And another paper company with whom we do business is Trump’s good buddies, PRATT. Pratt runs a high-tech single-stream “recycling” facility that sits beside their incinerator, which powers their Conyers, Ga., paper mill. Guess how much money the community is receiving for their recyclable materials. Zero. Citizens pay Pratt to collect their single-stream recycling. Is that why one Fayetteville alderman, who aggressively supports single stream, bans people from her Facebook page for requesting names of state of the art single-stream facilities?

As a taxpayer paying 11.75 percent in sales tax, how do you like being held financially responsible for the amount of garbage you generate as a home owner, while kids living in a high-rise can toss infinite amounts of trash down the hallway chute? This was not even addressed in the first $325,000 solid waste study, we taxpayers financed. How are students and apartment dwellers financially motivated to reduce their purchases of single-use items?

Also, not addressed in the $325,000 “study” were the finances involved with our drop-off centers. A manned, fenced drop-off center provides clean materials that end-users love to receive. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people use the Marion Orton and 15th Street drop-offs every week. And what about the aldermen’s concern for recycling workers? The staff could have designed the nation’s best trough trucks, reducing back strain and repetitive motion syndrome, but they did not. Is due diligence being obstructed? Heads up: You are about to pay another $100,000 for another “study.”

Walk around the campus and look in the trash cans in any building, especially the one where they are preaching sustainability. You’ll find high value, white paper, aluminum cans and disposable cups. So much for walking the talk. The city once bragged they were working with Walmart on packaging issues. Translated, that means Walmart passes the sustainability buck off to the vendors who actually end up taking the financial hit for changing their packaging size and/or weight. Walmart should be the world’s No. 1 sustainability role model by requiring customers to bring their own reusable shopping bags.

Northwest Arkansas, home to superficial sustainability.

Louise G. Mann


Americans aren’t stuck with the status quo

I am a Baby Boomer who grew up (poor, but safe) in the good old days. The daughter of a hunter/outdoorsman, veteran. Taught to shoot as a child on a .22-caliber rifle and pistol, which I continue to use for sport or defense.

I fully support the Second Amendment rights in the U.S. Constitution, but I see no conflict in banning sales of military weapons in civilian markets. Different weapons, different purposes, different markets. The Founders told us how to govern ourselves. If something is running amok, we, the people, have the right, the power and the methods to change it.

I feel so strongly about common-sense laws enforced by my parents and grandparents’ generations, eroded by my own (Boomers and X-gens) with the result of mass massacres of our children in their schools and other public places. Time to change the rules back to common-sense standards.

I felt compelled to speak out and support these kids who are shouting for help and change to prevent more massacres.

Debbie Alexy


One reason AR-15s are used for hunting

Being a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, I want to thank Lt. Col. Malcolm K. Cleaveland [Letters, March 3] for his service to our country. However, the lieutenant colonel needs to get his facts straight. The AR-15 is allowed to hunt with because it is a center fire weapon. It is also the weapon of choice of many hunters.

David Mencl


A question worth pondering about medical marijuana

Since medical marijuana is available from legitimate pharmacies, why should Arkansas embark on a federally illegal and complicated endeavor?

Think about it!

George Day


Commentary on 03/09/2018


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