WRETCHED REFUSE

Garbologist Rathje is so eager to "bust myths" that he ignores an important paradox: Often, the "myth" is a closer approximation of the truth than is the conclusion people will draw from his presentation of the issues.

For example, he is right that America has more than enough land to use for landfills. He is wrong, however in busting the myth of a "landfill crisis." Because of political realities, transport costs and environmental imperatives, we can't build landfills on these vast expanses of land that Rathje points to.

In another example, Rathje is correct to point out that diapers and fast-food packaging take less than 3% of landfill volume, but Rathje's tirade misdirects the attention of people interested in waste.

The fact is that the 2% of landfill space taken up by diapers is a lot for one single product, and packaging in general (not just fast-food packaging) is 30% of waste.

DAVID GOLDSTEIN

VENTURA

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