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Readers Apathetic About Bridgeton Landfill Issues

September 4, 2013 Environment, Featured, St. Louis County 3 Comments

The poll last week was a bust, only 34 people voted, about a third of the usual number of responses. I attribute this to a combination of the poll itself (poorly phrased?) and apathy about an issue miles from the municipal limits of the City of St. Louis.

Here are the results:

Q: Thoughts on government (EPA/MO-DNR) regulation/oversight at the Bridgeton & Westlake landfills?

  1. Government should’ve done substantially more 18 [52.94%]
  2. Government should’ve done a little more 7 [20.59%]
  3. Government reaction has been just right 7 [20.59%]
  4. Government should’ve done a little less 1 [2.94%]
  5. Government should’ve done substantially less 1 [2.94%]
  6. Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

For what it’s worth, more than half thought government should’ve done substantially more. I agree, but I also think we can all do substantially more to reduce what we send to landfills.

My boyfriend and I recycle everything we can, but also to reduce the items sent to landfills & recycling:

  • Buy some items in larger sizes to reduce packaging waste from multiple smaller packages
  • Make cleaning products with Borax and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, such as liquid laundry detergent & dishwasher powder. Saves lots of packaging, as well as money.
  • For 3 months now we’ve been vermicomposting in a Rubbermaid container in our loft. Yes, red wiggler worms eat our kitchen scraps!
Ingredients used in dishwasher powder. Borax & Washing Soda also used in laundry detergent.
Ingredients used in dishwasher powder. Borax & Washing Soda also used in laundry detergent.
Our vermicompost bin 3 months ago lined with coconut fiber just before we added the bag of 500 worms
Our vermicompost bin 3 months ago lined with coconut fiber just before we added the bag of 500 worms
Reusable bags are often free or low cost
Reusable bags are often free or low cost

Here are some other green things we do:

  • Use connected LED bulbs in our 3 most used lights
  • Use the Nest thermostat to control our HVAC system
  • Line dry our clothing indoors
  • Use reusable shopping bags
  • Try to buy more fresh fruits & veggies rather than packaged processed “food”
  • Make our own yogurt, hummus, and other items.

The two landfills with issues mentioned in my original post have been closed for years now, but everyone should be concerned about the mountains of trash we create.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. JZ71 says:

    The most likely reason why “the poll last week was a bust” was none of us have any good answers. None of us like what’s happening, now, but many of us are also unsure what “the government” could or should have done differently, back when the landfills were first established and then while they were operating. Trash either decomposes (which can have its own negative side effects) or piles up – there is no trash fairy that makes it disappear. The government can “just say no” (which just kicks the can down the road / dumps the problem in some other jurisdiction’s lap) or it can impose regulations on how to handle stuff most of us just want gone. There are, however, no perfect answers. And while I respect your efforts at reducing and recycling, my biggest waste / landfill concern remains how we, as a nation, are (not!) handling our nuclear waste. The nuclear industry likes to present their product as “clean energy”, but no one, justifiably, wants nuclear waste anywhere near them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Bridgeton landfill or the fallout (literally!) from the Fukishima disaster – we’re messing with nasty stuff, yet continuing to assume that it will somehow “get handled”. In comparison, what’s happening in north county is a minor nuisance, unless you happen to live there . . . .

  2. Fenian says:

    Another thing that local readers can do is purchase subsidized CFL and LED bulbs (including specialty bulbs) from Ameren MO. They also sell smart power strips and motion detecting light switches.


  3. moe says:

    they should make recycling mandatory. We have recycle dumpsters right next to the trash dumpsters, yet some still dump recyclables into the trash. I mean, come on, it’s 2 feet! And they don’t even have to lift the dumpster lid as there is a slot. It’s more effort to put it in the trash dumpster!
    And I wish Ameren would offer tiered power…..for free. Sure Ameren offers a lame tiered power, but the owner has to pay for the install meter. In Phoenix, one has the options of 3 different pay scales depending on their lifestyle.
    But our trash, nuclear and otherwise still needs to go somewhere and go somewhere somehow where we won’t have to move it in 20 or 30 years.


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