It's tough not being an environmentalist in 1990. After all, being an environmentalist has ``green appeal.'' But cleaning the environment and keeping it pollution free is costly.

Each man, woman, and child in the Twin Cities generates an estimated 1 ton of garbage a year. The $22-per-ton fee to dispose of Minneapolis's garbage in 1981 has risen to $95. City and county officials say the end is not yet in sight.

Like the garbage fee, recycling is not free.

Mark Andrews, a Hennepin County commissioner, estimates that each resident of his county is charged $50 to $60 a year to recycle newspapers, cans, and glass.

As plastics and household batteries are added to this mix within the next 12 months, the cost likely will go up. But Randy Johnson, another Hennepin County commissioner, points out that collection is one thing - disposal and recycling is another. ``Minneapolis has a penchant for collecting things. But it hasn't any place to put them,'' he says.

Michael Trdan, a former Minneapolis city planner who now works in the same capacity in nearby Dakota County, says recycling increasingly is necessary to keep the area's garbage dumps under control.

Mr. Trdan says residents are reluctant to send their garbage out of the area, preferring instead to deal with their own ``problem.''

``It would be unpalatable to areas receiving these wastes if Minneapolis dumped its garbage there. We have the feeling here that it's your responsibility to dispose of your own waste,'' Trdan says.

Thus, recycling, and its costs, likely will continue to increase.

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