Why has the city outlawed the collection of alkaline batteries at such businesses as Walmart and Kroegers? Now we have to take them to City Hall. Wont this just encourage us to just throw them in the trash? Richie Urquhart
Saying the city outlawed recycling at retailers is like saying the city hates alternative transportation because Segways arent allowed on the Animas River Trail.
Its just not the case.
Battery collection is a joint project between the city and the county. For a while, battery recycling was available at high-traffic stores.
But there was a big drawback: Crews spent considerable time and resources to collect the batteries, said Greg Caton, assistant city manager and overseer of the Sustainable Services Department.
The number of battery-collection points was reduced to make the process more efficient, Caton said. Residents can drop off dead cells at the rec center, the library, the transit center or City Hall.
But the burden doesnt end at collection. Once batteries were gathered, federal regulations required the city to sort them.
You cant just chuck all batteries in a drum and ship them to a recycler, Caton pointed out.
Old batteries still have a charge, and after a couple of recycling trailers caught fire (elsewhere, not locally) while cruising down the highway, the federal Department of Transportation now enforces a law that prohibits cargos of mixed batteries.
So if you associate outlaw with battery recycling, blame the feds and not City Hall.
How dare Washington tell us what to do? Its our constitutional right to set semi-trucks ablaze every time we try to save the Earth.
Anyway, please continue to recycle, Caton said, adding that we can do it one better.
You remember the three Rs? Reduce, reuse, recycle.
The first R is reduce, Caton said. Each year, the city and county end up with more than a dozen 55-gallon barrels of castoff Energizers and Duracells.
We strongly encourage rechargeable batteries. If wed all switch to rechargeables, wed all save considerable money and resources used in collection and transportation, and it would be better for the environment.
That might be a huge challenge in this community, where half the population thinks the three Rs stand for recreation, reefers and relaxation, and the other half thinks the three Rs are rebuke, reload and refuel.
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Last weeks column about the Death Merge dominates the Mea Culpa Mailbag.
I think you gave the wrong answer to Nervous Mother. Actually, she is part of the problem and should not have an expectation of crossing three lanes of traffic in such a short distance, writes Ron Urner.
Turn on Santa Rita Drive, go down the hill and turn left on the highway. That would solve her problem and keep her from becoming a traffic hazard.
Another loyal reader, Todd Illg, echoes this view.
My very safe and nervous teenage son driver (really, he is) has this figured out. He avoids the Death Merge.
The section from Santa Rita Park to Walmart has the same number of red lights: 3. Count em, Todd adds.
But potshots taken at Walmarts Four-Way Stop Sign of Anarchy didnt amuse our friend Joy Baker, who writes, I have always enjoyed your tongue in cheek column, but recently, you seem to have had an attack of brainlessness.
Slamming people for where they shop or what they believe shows your ignorance and bias. Please go back to the really funny stuff.
Action Line regrets that all the really funny stuff has been covered. Therefore, only probing queries concerning vital international issues will be covered henceforth in this column.
Unless, of course, someone has a question about Florida Road, dogs running off leash, cell phones, CDOT, medical marijuana, cyclists riding three abreast, New Mexico drivers, the Bridge to Nowhere or snowplowing.
E-mail questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you allow a shameless plug: Please attend Action Lines talk on Crocus of Mystery, Daffodils of Death at 7 p.m. Thursday at FLCs Noble Hall, Room 130.