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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)


Air Date: Week of

Listeners respond to stories about a German town’s attempt to take over their local electric utility . . . and a Texas city’s voluntary phase-out of diazinon.


CURWOOD: Here are some of your comments about our most recent programs. Our report on citizen efforts in a small German town to take over their local electric utility and move it toward alternative energy sources brought a call from Irvin Dawid in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Dawid says their current mix of 60% hydropower and 40% nuclear power already seems pretty clean.

DAWID: They have no greenhouse emissions. I mean, uh, no fossil fuels. I understand that the wastes produced by the nuclear plant need to be dealt with, but that's pretty clean energy that they're producing I'd just like to see energy, utilities in this country, be as clean they are there. Thank you.

CURWOOD: Back on this side of the Atlantic, we reported on the town of Greenville, Texas, where citizens have voluntarily phased out the pesticide Diazinon, which was polluting surface water. Then we asked you whether community persuasion and public education can be as effective as regulation. Dora Lee Winston of Somerset, Kentucky, says regulation isn't always the answer.

WINSTON: I think it's good to persuade people to use organic methods instead of using chemicals, but also to encourage people to use proper disposal. People are tired of being regulated in everything they do, and I think by approaching them in this way, you will have more success.

CURWOOD: Show [sp?] Silver, a listener of WBEZ in Chicago, says he favors regulation as being more effective and cost-efficient. But he says, for that to work, the public needs to be encouraged to comply. And public education is needed to counteract the messages from the chemical companies. We also got this call.

CURRY: Hi, this is David Curry of Plattsburg, New York. I listen to your show on Vermont Public Radio. While education at the community level is wonderful in terms of minimizing the use of insecticides, I think it would be more reasonable to include the cost of disposal up front in the cost of the product. Presently, it's done in New York State through a tax on motor oil for disposal of the motor oil. It's reasonable to consider, when we introduce a new product into society, what the hidden costs to our next generation, to our children and our children's children, really is.

CURWOOD: Speaking of Diazinon disposal, Lucille Sprechter of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a listener to WCPN in Cleveland, took us to task for not providing some basic information.

SPRECHTER: Those of us who've had Diazinon in our home for some time would like to know what the manufacturer's comments are about proper disposal. I feel you could have done us a real service if you had also told us that. Thank you.

CURWOOD: Good point. So we called the folks in Greenville, Texas, back. It turns out that they asked residents just to hold on to their unused Diazinon until they could organize a city-wide household hazardous waste collection day. You can contact your local public works department if you have questions about hazardous waste disposal in your community.



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