To the editors:
Thank you for the fine feature article on Ken Dunn, Chicago’s garbage crisis, and the Resource Center’s efforts in recycling [November 11]. I am sure that your article has alerted more people to the need for a citywide recycling program–one which would bring city garbage disposal costs back under control while providing the most sensible method of handling our wastes.
One point in your article needs clarification. You state that although Ken Dunn teaches as well as running the Resource Center, he “does not work so hard because he needs the money–the Resource Center is doing very well–but because he needs the stimulation.” While flattering to Ken, this passage gives a false impression of the Resource Center’s finances. The Resource Center is a not-for-profit corporation that does much with stretched resources. Staff salaries are low. Public grants and contributions are essential. Resource Center curbside collection programs in Chicago lose money. Residential curbside collection recycling services, which should be at the center of any major Chicago recycling effort, require public investment. The payoff for the taxpayer is that recycling is less expensive and more environmentally sound than the alternatives–landfilling or incineration.
Expanding (or even continued) residential recycling service depends upon the Resource Center and other recycling organizations receiving the support from the City which has been promised for so long. As a non-profit, the Resource Center also welcomes contributions from individuals.
Howard M. Helsinger
Member of the Board