(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
Polluting our air and water by burning our trash is a horrible way to spend our waste management resources – but we’re doing it anyway. As a new resident to Somerville, I’ve been inspired by local residents and businesses who value reducing waste and preserving our resources. From restaurant and residential composting to our zero-sort recycling programs, it’s pretty easy to see how we can reduce the amount of trash we’re throwing away.
Knowing that over 5 million tons of trash is going into landfills and incinerators each year is alarming, but the fact that over 50% of that waste could actually be eliminated or recycled is upsetting. We need the state to prioritize reducing our waste faster than they have been.
Recently, the DEP Commissioner, Ken Kimmell, said he’s considering lifting a 22 year old moratorium on new incineration in Massachusetts. If he lifts that moratorium, he gives a green light to more burning of waste. This would be a terrible decision, and the time to tell the Commissioner is now. Until February 15, the public can submit comments to DEP about their opinion of more burning.
Comments should be sent to: John Fischer at MassDEP via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to John Fischer, MassDEP, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108.
– Samantha Rose Gibb