Cutting Landfill Waste Through Recycling Programs

Regarding the front-page article "Staten Island Has Had Its Fill of Nation's Largest Landfill," April 26: The problems with dumping in New York increase my gratitude for the forward thinking of my employer, Marin Sanitary Service, in Marin County, Calif.

In 1982, my boss began one of the first curbside recycling programs in the country. I became chief financial officer in 1989 and have watched our steady progress in recovering waste for reuse.

We opened an indoor dump in 1987, where we recover nearly 60 percent of all materials disposed.

In 1993 we began a yard-waste program for our residential customers, providing them with a 64-gallon, air-vented container on wheels for biweekly pickup of yard waste. At the end of 1995 195,591 tons had entered our complex, and 102,508 ended up at the landfill. We service a population of approximately 150,000.

I realize New York's problems are many times greater than ours, but communities who think ahead and get involved can make a difference. Since 1989, we have cut in half the amount of waste going to the landfill.

Nadine A. Muller

Nicasio, Calif.

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