— Sir David Attenborough
Not that it’s ordinary fodder for day-to-day conversation among most people, but the typical human and the average rhinoceros (see above quotation) share much in common.
One mutuality is fate.
It’s anybody’s best bet that left unattended, our polluted environment eventually will tire of humanity’s careless ways. It might not happen this century nor even the one after that nor the one after that. Or beyond.
But one of these eons folks will realize our worsening contaminated soil will no longer support anything green because it is filled with poisons, that breathing the heavy air will become a toxic inhale and the idea of cool, clear water will be remembered as little more than a country lyric once made famous by a group called “Sons of the Pioneers.”
Right about now, can anyone recite that line from “Avatar” spoken by the character Jake Sully on the planet Pandora ... “There’s no green there; they killed their mother?”
For those who didn’t see the movie, he was talking about Earth; at least, what was left of her after a few millennia of unharnessed pollution and reckless disregard for Mother Nature, her natural resources and the climate she fostered.
Heavy, I know. But with every great movement comes a first step. Somebody must take it. And before that someone must envision it.
Such action is most effective when it involves a whole people, an entire globe, a total race ... the human race, not to put too fine a point on it. But this is only 2012, and to borrow on a more straight-forward vernacular, it ain’t happenin’ ... at least, not yet and not in too many places. On a global scale, mankind apparently has a lot more damage to inflict upon his Earth mother before folks get serious.
But that doesn’t preclude isolated communities from taking pre-emptive actions on their own, and doing it now.
One such measure is occurring in Cleveland and Bradley County. Its future was threatened two years ago when the state of Tennessee pulled financial support because of The Great Recession that pummeled some good programming. But local officials refused to let this homegrown initiative die.
Two years ago the Bradley County mayor’s office found a way to allocate $50,000 for the continuation of the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day using the existing Bradley County Landfill Fund. It was a great idea then and is even better now, especially given the momentum created by a strong five-partner alliance that keeps the annual spring-cleaning project going.
Working closely with the mayor’s office are Cleveland/Bradley Keep America Beautiful, Santek Environmental, Cleveland Utilities and the Tri-State Exhibition Center. This year’s annual collection of household hazardous wastes is taking place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tri-State.
They’re all pitching in to make it another success.
Mayor D. Gary Davis’ office is picking up the tab.
Santek is paying for the printing of 34,500 brochures explaining the HHWCD program, how it works and most importantly how it helps.
Cleveland Utilities is distributing the brochures in its monthly billing statements.
Keep America Beautiful is furnishing on-site and data-collecting volunteers.
Tri-State Exhibition is providing the staging area.
It’s an environmentally friendly program that helps area residents by affording safe disposal of their household contaminants. It preserves the life of the landfill while also protecting the surrounding soil and waterways. And it builds a Green momentum within our community that will continue to grow as more and more families get involved, and invaluable word-of-mouth advertising continues the spread of its good news.
Items accepted Saturday are diverse, and most probably can be found in the average Bradley County household’s storage shed, garage, basement or utility room. I am no exception. The last time I peeked into my storage shed, a few dozen rusting aerosol cans and an array of partially filled, dented paint buckets stared me down in a menacing kind of “we dare you” mindset.
I’ve accepted their challenge in prior years and just might repeat the experience Saturday.
Here’s a quick rundown of items the HHWCD will accept: Oil and fuel additives, grease and rust solvents, fuel cleaners, starter fluids, antifreeze and coolant, gasoline, oil-based paint, strippers and thinners, adhesives, driveway sealant, roofing tar, wallpaper remover, stains and varnishes, pesticides, fertilizers, wood preservatives, pool chemicals, photo processing chemicals, medicines and drugs, aerosols and compressed gas, fluorescent tubes, CPUs, TVs (consoles must be dismantled), monitors, printers and keyboards.
For a complete list, as well as information on items they won’t accept, visit www.recyclemore.com or go rustle up that Cleveland Utilities brochure.
HHWCD is a great idea, one whose time came a few years ago and whose popularity has grown ever since.
But don’t take my word for it. Go ask a rhinoceros and find out what’s in it for him ... or her.