Trash-War Victim (Letter to the Editor)

Trash-War Victim (Letter to the Editor)

January 25, 1999
Originally published in The New York Times

Liam Callanan is "One Virginian Who's Ready to Do His Part" (Op-Ed, Jan. 20) about New York's trash. As a New Yorker now living in Virginia, I can empathize.

However, if anyone should feel guilty, it's the lawmakers who want to enact policies that will likely increase fatalities and pollution, while placing a heavier burden on the poor.

Virginia lawmakers have suggested that they would ban trash barges — each of which carries 300 truckloads of trash. The likely result: more traffic as the trucks travel down the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 95, around the Capital Beltway and further into Virginia. Everyone from New York to Virginia will breathe more pollution from this new traffic.

Then there's the pain lawmakers are willing to slap on their own constituents in Virginia by suggesting that they will levy taxes on the many low-income communities that have used landfill revenue to cut taxes, build schools and make life more livable.