The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 58.0°F | A Few Clouds

Letters to the Editor

I feel that I must respond to Matthew H. Hersch's article in Friday's Tech ["Environmental Technology is Still a Little Green," Sept. 11]. In it Hersch states that it is "ludicrous" for cities to require their residents to sort their trash for recycling, and that people should not have to spend more time on their trash than they do now.

He goes on to say, "Clearly, the technology exists to separate trash chemically. It is the job of science to discover a way to do it." This implies that curbside recycling should be stopped, and recycling should only continue when we are able to separate trash at some garbage facility.

As a chemist, I can guarantee you that chemical separation of post-consumer trash will never become a reality. We don't even presently have the ability to separate three kinds of plastic on a large scale, much less those mixed in with metals, glass, diapers, and potato salad.

Secondly, anyone who feels they can't take 90 seconds out of each day to separate their trash has an over-inflated sense of self-worth. Sure, it takes longer to sort trash for recycling, but as members of the human race, we all have an obligation to minimize our negative impact on the environment. If that means taking nine hours each year to redirect material from the landfill to new products, then so be it.

Kenneth D. Zemach G

Letter Misconstrued

I was glad to see my letter printed in The Tech last Friday ["Party Poster Obscene," Sept 11]; however, there was one instance where I think your editing may have changed my intended meaning. At the end of the fourth paragraph, two sentences from my original letter were condensed to "I have removed [the party poster in question]." This sentence was more succinct than my original phrasing, but it may have led people to believe that I removed the poster out of righteous indignation. I removed a single copy of the poster for examination by the Dean's Office, per their request. I want to make it clear that tearing down posters -- no matter how offensive they may seem -- is not acceptable behavior, and I do not condone it.

Charles E. Roburn '92