The city of Long Beach is floating a plan that, for the sake of residential recycling, could require me to sit on my stinking, rotting garbage for two weeks before it's picked up. This is the only place I've lived where I have to guard my trash against lip-smacking bears that troll my neighborhood for dinner, and that's with a weekly pickup service! This is also the only place I've lived where only 45 percent of the residences have trash service. We have to assume that's because there are so many vacation homes here.

I'm embarrassed for our town if for the past 15 years the mayor and city officials, as quoted in the Observer, have been telling visitors that we have no means of recycling. For many years, Peninsula Sanitation Service has provided a very adequate recycling center for those of us who care to recycle - and many of us do. Visitors who ask should be directed to that site. For the past several years it's been at NE 7th and Washington streets, just west of the fire station. Perhaps a more visible site needs to be found for it. If visitors are merely commenting on the size of our trash containers, they should truthfully be told that this is the size we need for them to withstand the winds we have here - problem solved.

Perhaps it's suddenly occurred to the city of Long Beach that visitors, the businesses that support them, and new developments (such as Trendwest) can generate in a single day as much, or more, trash (including recyclables) as several city blocks of the sparsely occupied residential dwellings, and they want to do something about it. If this is the case, I would say that this is a problem for commercial businesses primarily supported by the visitors and needs to be addressed by the commercial business interests in this town and Peninsula Sanitation.

Long Beach is about to open a recycling can of worms that cities with thousands of more residents have been grappling with for years with dubious results. Longview, which was mentioned as the recycling site to be used, has recently had its recycling woes chronicled in The Daily News. No one is against recycling, but as one of only 45 percent of the residences in Long Beach that has trash picked up by Peninsula Sanitation, I'm very satisfied with the present level of service, including the recycling station.

Considering the costs that surely would be incurred (gasoline topping $3 a gallon, more trucks, additional bins) now hardly seems the time for 45 percent of Long Beach's homeowners (many of us retired) to be shouldering the cost of recycling at our doorsteps, especially if it means a reduction of service in hauling away our rotting garbage and was primarily inspired by visitors' questions and not residents' requests.

Terri Shields

Long Beach

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