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Landfill suit illustrates need to find alternative to garbage disposal
News editorial
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News that Bryan County is being sued by Atlantic Waste is unwelcome, but not surprising. It appears to be part of the cost of doing business these days. You don’t like how something turns out, sue.
That probably doesn’t make it palatable to those who live in Black Creek who thought they’d won a public fight to keep a landfill from their back yard. It’s probably safe to say that Atlantic Waste didn’t win many – if any friends – in Bryan County during the lengthy and public process through which the county commission ultimately decided that the landfill wasn’t in line with county ordinances.
Whether those ordinances and the county’s actions regarding the landfill will stand up in a court of law remains to be seen — unless the parties somehow reach a settlement. We won’t pretend to be an expert in this sort of legal maneuvering.
What’s more, we understand that Atlantic Waste probably has a great deal of money at stake in this enterprise. We also applaud the fact that Bryan County officials stood up for residents in Black Creek.
Whatever happens, this suit illustrates more than ever the need for a greener and cleaner approach to dealing with the garbage we create, and by all account’s it’s a lot. There are some estimates that the U.S. generates enough trash in a year to cover the entire state of Texas, twice, forming a line of garbage trucks that would stretch from here to the moon. Some estimate the average American produces about 1,600 pounds of garbage a year. No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of trash.
Recycling is certainly a start. It’s also probably the best answer we have other than cutting back on the amount of garbage we generate – either through less consumption or use of things that don’t wind up in landfills. Like real plates and cups and forks and diapers and so on. That’s probably not likely to happen anytime soon, but it’s worth thinking about.
In the meantime, we might all be well served by learning a bit about our own garbage. How much does the average person in Bryan County throw away each day? Where is the landfill it goes to? Who’s back yard is it in?

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