Opinion

Editorial | Trash and trailers

Time to let the Recycle Center go.

Beyond the feral cats that get fed at the Recycle Center at Mercerdale Park, there is nothing remotely warm and fuzzy about the huge metal containers that hold Island trash there. The city and the school district are right in shutting it down. Its time has come and gone. It and the many volunteers who have worked there over the years have accomplished great things. When the center was established in the late 1970s, the site became a visible way to promote recycling — a novel idea in those days. It also served as a direct way for the community and the schools to take a hand in the growing environmental movement.

Things have changed. Most, if not all, of our recyclable trash can be dealt with right at home through our weekly garbage pick-up. For noxious and unwieldy items such as old appliances and such, the city holds a community recycling day twice a year at the boat launch. The city and many other community agencies regularly communicate options for managing waste and championing recycling. The center and its many tireless volunteers have done their job. We thank them. We look forward to new ideas about use of the site in the park.

And what about the feral cats that are fed at the Recycle Center and the felines that are caught, neutered and released. The good people who wish to help the cats can sometimes encourage bigger problems. Many experts question whether or not neutered cats (homeless or not) that are allowed to live outdoors are harmless. Even if they are fed, experts say, cats still hunt birds. Others say that programs that neuter, release and feed homeless cats often attract the dumping of unwanted pets. Now that local animal shelters are taking on more pets due to the closing of King County animal control facilities, they are no longer accepting pets given up by owners. We remain surprised and amazed by the growing number of deer on the Island. Let’s hope we will not be surprised by a growing number of cats.

Finally, hooray to the city for passing the ordinance to further control the parking of oversized vehicles, boats and trailers on Island streets. Not only are these objects unsightly, but they make the many narrow and unlit streets and lanes of this Island even more hazardous. An astute letter writer commented recently that if Islanders have the money to buy a boat, they should be able to afford to store it somewhere. Our streets are to be shared by all and used with consideration — not used as a storage lot for big toys.

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