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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Listener Letters

Air Date: Week of February 18, 2000

In the mail this week, one listener warns about importing plants; and we clear up some confusion about dioxin and your recyclables.

Transcript

KNOY: Time now for your comments.

(Music up and under)

KNOY: Listening to our interview with Jamaica Kincaid about her exotic garden, Cindy Hildebrand of Ames, Iowa, thought one thing needed pointing out. "I hope and assume Jamaica Kincaid had a permit to bring bulbs to Vermont from Antigua. There are good environmental reasons for this requirement. But many people," Ms. Hildebrand writes, "seem to think that just sticking the bulbs or seeds or cuttings in their luggage and not mentioning them is fine."

Our interview with Science Times editor Janet Raloff about the dangers of backyard trash burning left a few listeners confused. Suzanne Hirrel hears us on KUAR in Little Rock, Arkansas, and writes, "Ms. Raloff stated that a family of four that recycles produces more dioxin than a non-recycling family. Is she saying that recycling produces dioxin?" We asked Janet Raloff to clarify, and she explained it this way: Keeping recyclable materials in a pile of trash actually does reduce the amount of dioxin produced when that pile is burned. For one thing, the mix of many different ingredients in that pile interferes with the ability of chlorine to produce dioxin, and recyclable items like paper and cardboard make the fire burn hotter. The hotter the fire, the less dioxin produced.

You can light our fire by calling our listener line any time. The number is 800-218-9988. That's 800-218-9988. Or send us an e-mail at letters@loe.org.

 

 

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