14 September 2008

Encounter with a Recycling Vigilante

I recently moved into the Fraserlands area and walk with my dog along the river walk everyday. The path has been extended along the river behind the old White Pines mill. Today there was a guy out on the mud flats kicking over debris. He yelled up at me that it was treasure chest for someone who collected copper. There was quite a few pieces of old copper piping. He then started telling me just how much old metal there was in the river and how it was all breaking down and polluting this magnificent waterway. He told of an entire island upstream that was made from the dumping of old metal in years gone by and how now it was covered in trees. He said he was going to bring a video camera next time and record the toxic waste on the riverbank. He called himself the 'recycling vigilante' and that he did this because he loved the earth and wanted people to know what was happening.

There was a time when we thought we could just dump anything in the river or in the sewers (which would end up in the river) and then walk away. We know better now. We know that what befalls the earth befalls us too, that toxins get into our body through our food and water. Hopefully we have learned...but then I look around and see all the plastic and metal littering our parks, and all the packaging in our stores and think maybe we really haven't learnt anything.

I am grateful to the 'recycling vigilante' and all the folks who shout and curse at our foolishness. Hopefully we are wise enough to hear them.

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