Zero Waste = No New Landfills

RECEIVED Sat., Feb. 16, 2008

Dear Editor,
    On Tuesday I attended a presentation held by zero-waste consultants hired by the city of Austin. On Thursday, city management made recommendations for a new landfill on city-owned property in eastern Travis County. It's Friday morning, and I'm confused but not surprised. This makes perfect sense in a town where $250,000 condos pass for affordable housing.
    Zero waste is hard. It requires money and sometimes unpopular legislation. Landfills are easy, particularly ones that are out of the sight of city voters and in an area that can't afford to foot the bill for a legal fight or public-relations campaign. Green isn't a Sunday morning bike ride and a canvas grocery sack. It requires political courage, not self-congratulating PowerPoint presentations and empty slogans. We can't pretend to care about the globe when we don't even care what happens 10 miles down the road.
    Dogs are on patios. Las Manitas survived. Now it's time for the City Council to make some real progress.
Sarah Jandle
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