The Time was right in criticizing Deukmejian for vetoing key recycling legislation, which was recently approved by the Legislature (editorial, "Wasted Effort," Sept. 28).
Solid-waste disposal is a major problem in California. Two-thirds of our urban areas will be out of landfill space within 8 years. Landfills and waste-to-energy plants present major air pollution and ground-water quality problems. Recycling is the most cost-effective and environmentally compatible alternative.
The Legislature showed leadership this year by approving AB 3298 (Killea and Cortese), which would require each city and county to recycle 25% of its solid waste. While the Legislature was considering this bill, the governor was repeatedly asked for his comments. He never even made a suggestion.
Given this void in gubernatorial leadership, the Legislature took the issue on and approved an excellent recycling bill. However, at the request of special interests in the waste-hauling industry, the governor vetoed the bill.
Within a few years, California may well experience the problems of the East Coast--nowhere to take our garbage.
California has a problem even greater than our solid-waste crisis. We have a governor who not only refuses to lead--but one who has become the major obstacle to environmental progress in California.
Planning and Conservation League