Monday, June 09, 2008


The New York Times has an article about the garbage crisis in Europe. Apparently the Europeans are working to cut their percentage of garbage going to landfill to 35%. It is about 55% in the U.S. and 60% in the UK. In fact, the UK is called the "dustbin of Europe." Whatever that means.

This raises a number of troubling issues. Perhaps the most important though is why Europeans hate open recreational space. For instance, one common use of old landfill is to build a golf course. Even in the flatest prairie, you can have hills, bunkers, and any other land form you want if you build on top of garbage. Alternatively, you can leave the holes out of the grass and just call the area a "park" as Champaign, Illinois is. In other words, by throwing trash in landfills, people are increasing available open recreation space. Europe, why do you hate open recreation space?

Of course, the other issue is why the European Community is requiring the UK to cut its landfill use. Is there a more fundamentally local issue? Shouldn't this be at the county level, as opposed to the international level? Is there any compelling reason that Brussels should be deciding whether Devonshire (wherever that is) has too many landfills? Seriously, if there is not a cross boarder garbage issue, why is this an international issue? I sound like a Republican now, don't I? Oh boy. I need coffee.


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