LETTER: Ask lawmakers to support Zero Waste PA

Jacquelyn Oberdorf
York City
Downtown Inc. Clean-up Crew Member Larry Richards encounters a a pile of litter near businesses along Market Street in what is designated as zone three in York City, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Infamous for Three Mile Island, York is no stranger to environmental hazard. However, most people living in the White Rose City don’t spend their days worrying about the threat that local environmental issues are posing to their health and neighbors’ well-being.

So where is our trash actually going? Is it actually being recycled? Many residents would be surprised to learn that “mixed paper” such as junk mail, envelopes, copier paper, magazines and postcards can’t be recycled in York County. Styrofoam is not accepted by York’s curbside pickup, regardless of the fact that most of these products are labeled with a recycling symbol.

Fortunately, there is a group of Pennsylvania legislators working with PennEnvironment to move our state towards a cleaner future. The Zero Waste PA legislative package of 13 bills aims to make strides at reducing our waste by banning Styrofoam takeout food containers, increasing fines and penalties for littering, imposing a fee for non-reusable plastic bags, and more.

I would like to encourage Rep. Keith Gillespie, and all other legislators in York County and the surrounding areas, to stand up for the health and well-being of our residents and the beauty of our state by co-sponsoring this important legislation.

The time is now to save our city and state from becoming a place of landfills and incinerators.

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