Please keep separating your recyclables

A June 20 article in the BDN suggests that people toss redeemable bottles and cans in with your trash. Please don’t. Keeping paper, redeemable glass, and cardboard out of the waste stream still makes sense.

People should know that Fiberight’s Coastal Resources facility in Hampden could actually be a step backwards as far as recycling goes. The poor quality of recycled material is a major reason that China has recently restricted importing recyclables from the US and consequently towns no longer accept glass or lower grades of plastic. The mixed waste processing being done at the facility may lead us to have more contaminated recycling of lower value. Over the last year, waiting for this facility to begin operations has led us to more landfilling, not more recycling.

What we need is high-value, quality recycled commodities that are actually turned into new products and packaging. Maine’s “ Bottle Bill” is our best recycling program to do just that. Our beverage containers are collected at double the pace of our existing recycling programs — about 90 percent. And the materials collected are clean and separated, fetching them a high price on the recycling market.

So please, continue to support Maine’s most effective and clean recycling program by taking your bottles and cans back to the redemption centers. As for the new mixed-waste processing facility in Hampden, we are still waiting to see if it will live up to its claims.

Bill Lippincott

Trump and Shakspeare

After Fourth of July fireworks light up Bangor’s summer skies over the beautiful Penobscot River, there could be no better celebration of our Declaration of Independence than to exercise the principles embedded in our Constitution and launch an investigation of impeachment.

This summer of our discontent, the Trump-like character of Shakespeare’s Richard III comes to mind: “My conscience hath a thousand several tongues…And every tale condemns me for a villain.”

Although the president flatly denies abuse of his executive powers, his contemptuous displays of defiance call to mind remarks of Judge Robert Jackson, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who presided as chief prosecutor in the 1946 Nuremberg War Trials.

Addressing Germany’s Third Reich leaders at Nuremberg Palace of Justice, Judge Jackson wrapped up his argument for conviction by quoting a scene in Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. Jackson likened the Duke of Gloucester (future Richard III) to the Nazi criminals seated before him, saying, “As the bloodstained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain King (whom he had killed), he begged of the widow, as they beg of you, ‘Say I slew them not.’ And the Queen replied, ‘Then say they were not slain. But dead they are.’’’

Judge Jackson concluded that acquittal of these defendants would deny the very fact of World War II: “If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be as true to say that there has been no war, there are no slain, there has been no crime.”

If the House of Representatives fails to conduct impeachment investigations, then it would be as true to say, “There has been no Mueller investigation. There was no obstruction of justice. There have been no high crimes.” And someone could reply, “Then say the Constitution has not been slain. But dead it is.”

Robert Lyons

Browntail moth rash relief

Two words: Witch Hazel. A far-too-close and extensive encounter of the browntail moth caterpillar drove me to try every single over-the-counter remedy on the drugstore shelves, all of which made it hurt worse and didn’t help the itch. Then I tried just plain witch hazel. Eureka!

Such a simple solution, and it comes in travel handy packets of pre-moistened cloths labelled for hemorrhoid relief, as well as bottles.

Also we have removed the caterpillars from everywhere we can reach them with tweezers, carefully gloved and suitably covered, and drowned them in soapy water so as not to leave the hairs in the wind. It’s a small percentage of the overall population, but any kill reduces the future population exponentially.

And we try to encourage the black billed cuckoos that have just moved into the neighborhood. If you hear a digital alarm clock in the woods, rejoice: they may eat browntail caterpillars.

Deirdre Good