As a younger man, I can recall many summer nights on the eastside of Detroit when the sky was clear, the breeze was light and the air was filled with the foul stench of burning garbage. And even though we lived miles away from the city's big incinerator, which is also the largest in the nation, we always knew that we were never far from its putrid reach -- or its impact on our health.
I never understood how burning trash and spewing it into the air around communities whose residents are already wracked with asthma and other respiratory ailments was considered a "good" thing for Detroit, revenue be damned. And now that the city has long since sold the incinerator, which was built in 1986, I don't get why it is that we're still shouldering much of the financial burden for this thing and why it's still being allowed to spit pollutants into the air. (Although I do have my thoughts about the sort of people who think it's cool to line their pockets by supporting those who would build even more incinerators in the city.)
I was also dismayed to read that Mayor Dave Bing thinks this should continue:
Although he opposed continued use of the incinerator while campaigning for the mayor's job in the spring, Dave Bing and crew are now stalwart defenders of the plant, which generates steam and electricity.
Sorry, but we should've closed this carcinogenic open sore a long time ago. I guess Bing's position is clear. I just hope the rest of the city's shiny new leadership doesn't agree.