Letters to the editor

Garbage wars

The Garbage Wars have started in Highlands County with Lake Placid and Avon Park planning to take their waste out of the county to the privately owned Okeechobee landfill where the tip fee (dump charge) is $25 a ton vs. the $45 a ton at the Highlands County landfill.

This could face a legal challenge from the county. The next big player is the City of Sebring. Sebring is the key to what happens to the county solid waste system. Given the relatively large volume of waste generated by Sebring, it would not be too difficult for them to work out a deal with Waste Management to not only take their waste, but to construct a transfer station to transfer waste from the smaller city garbage trucks to larger walking floor trailers for the trip to Okeechobee. Avon Park would probably be a willing participant in this. This would cut transportation costs dramatically and save a lot of wear and tear on vehicles running up and down the landfill.

If this happens, the county landfill will lose millions of dollars in tip fee revenues over a short period of time. The cost of operating the landfill gas systems, leachate collection and disposal systems and other landfill operations will change little if at all with the reduced volumes. For the unincorporated county residents, like myself, this translates into large increases in solid waste management fees to make up the shortfalls while the municipal residents benefit from significant savings.

In the years I have been here, the county commissioners seemed to treat the landfill as a cash cow utilizing whatever excess revenues to help balance their budget instead of setting aside money for say a materials recycling facility or lowering the tip fee, all off which would benefit the entire county.

The new county commissioners may see things differently, but it may be too late and the county rate payers may get left holding the bag.

John Booth

Avon Park

Global warming

Anything goes when a Democrat wants your vote. Any lie, exaggeration or vile slander is totally justified in a liberal's world. Their latest is Republicans don't care about global warming and only want to enrich their industrialist campaign donors by using polluting coal and gas. Of course Obama's industrialist cronies left town with the loaned loot given them to start "green companies" and left us taxpayers holding the billion dollar debt. Well, at least they weren't around long enough to pollute anything.

No one doubts global warming has occurred for millions of years and will occur again with or without mankind's interference. It's the self-aggrandizing blowhards like Gore and Kerry who stoke the flames of hatred and intolerance by proclaiming the Arctic ice sheet would be gone by 2013 unless conservatives are pushed aside and immediate action taken. Didn't happen; in fact, the ice sheet has actually grown considerably. Oopsie. No problem for a liberal, though. Their response is "It was our rallying cry that spurred people to action, saved the day and averted a disaster in spite of Republican stonewalling."

Democrats have become the joke of international climate change proponents. Their wild hyperbole and debunked claims have turned so many people away it is doubtful if any progress can be made globally at all. Even one of the founders of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, came forward and said there is absolutely no empirical evidence for any claim of man's existence causing global warming. A slight warming is happening and no one knows why, period. Neither Republicans, evil industrialists, nor the Wicked Witch of the West (the USA) can be blamed, yet Democrats try to do it anyway for the votes and self-righteous aggrandizing.

Time for these gasbags to shut up and join those trying to find out what we need to do, not milk it for votes. As a side note, during the ice age 400,000 years ago, the CO2 level was 10 times what it is today. We need science, not self-important poltroons pontificating.

Charles Reynolds