Saturday, February 10, 2007

Seat of Ease

Once upon a time, all of the Woolen Mills houses had outhouses in their backyards.

Imagine that I wanted to go into the business of composting vegetative matter, leaves from yards and table scraps. The Virginia State Code mandates that my compost pile must be at least 1,000 feet from the nearest house.
In the 1980's the local water and sewer authority (RWSA) began open air composting sewage sludge at the north-eastern corner of their facility.
After February 1st of this year the RWSA will truck sewage sludge to an alternate location for composting. This decision was made following years of dialog with nearby residents.
I say nearby. The nearest house is approximately 725 feet from the RWSA compost pile.
In this week's Hook a writer from Stanardsville, Virginia (101,688 feet from the compost pile) writes a letter making the following points and then some:

1) the recent steps by the RWSA board regarding sludge constitute "a huge step backward" for the environment.
2) the solids will fill up landfills
3) It'll be expensive and is only "a win" for the people who have "recently moved" to the Woolen Mills neighborhood.
4) The smell of the compost operation was one he never found offensive.
5) This is an example of NIMBY-ism at its worst.
6) The Hook has lost its moral compass.

Dear Stanardsville Fellow-
Regarding #1 & 2, the solids will continue to be composted. Regarding #3. It is a win for all the people of eastern Charlottesville, from east Belmont-Carlton to the Downtown Mall. Regarding the Woolen Mills neighborhood, the old residents have noses too, not just the people who have "recently moved" here.
Regarding #4, if your yard is large enough for open field application, please notify the RWSA administration.
Regarding NIMBY. If we don't look out for our own backyards, who will?
Regarding #6, The Hook is a newspaper. Their compass is a news compass. They cover issues that effect the residents of central Virginia.



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