Re: [GRRN] Recent Betsy Hart opinion essay on recycling

Roger M. Guttentag (
Tue, 09 Nov 1999 13:34:31 -0500

At 09:44 AM 11/09/1999, Gary Liss wrote:



>I think all those on the GreenYes listserve have an obligation to
respond to Betsy Hart's essay, not just DISCUSS it among ourselves. I am
concerned that this essay may get picked up by other news organizations
and repeated around the country like the John Tierney article was.


Dear Gary:

It is my hope that a good quality discussion among ourselves will help us
to craft better responses to the Hart essay. Otherwise Greenyes devolves
into a glorified digital intercom. My concern is that we don't send
either a "how dare you write this crap" response or long winded snoozers
that no news service will bother picking up. We need to look at the
style as well as the substance of Hart's essa for guidance. It is
appealing because it has a short, conversational tone with lots of easy
to follow and very quotable (though misleading) statements like:

"there are more trees in the United States today than at any other time
in this century"

"if Americans continue generating garbage at current rates, it would take
1,000 years before the total refuse pile would fill an area 35 miles
square and 100 yards deep."

"Picking up a ton of recyclables (forget the expense of processing it)can
cost three times as much as picking up the same amount of garbage."

and <italic>the creme de la creme:


"aggressive curbside recycling programs are almost always significant
revenue losers. And that has real consequences now: less money available
for better schools, safer roads, more police or improved social

Frankly, I think the other side writes better on many occasions than we
do on this topic so I think we do need to discuss how we can do better in

Roger M. Guttentag