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Toxic Waste

February 15, 1988

The article on the problems faced by individuals trying to get rid of toxic waste materials (Metro, Feb. 8) beautifully illustrates the depth of stupidity at most government agencies. Our legislators, this time at the city and county level, have decided to declare illegal substantial amounts of trash, and have managed to create a vast bureaucracy to pursue the homeowner who dares to violate these laws, but they have provided no reasonable method of complying with the law.

Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution to the problem. The city and county should require every retailer of material deemed to be toxic to receive back from individuals any of those materials which the retailer sells. This program should not be much more difficult to administer than current laws regarding beverage containers. Old paint goes back to the paint store. Batteries and used motor oil to the service station or auto parts store. Retailers should be permitted to return these materials in bulk quantities to their wholesalers and they, in turn, should be in a position to deal with licensed haulers and approved dumps.

It may be wishful thinking to expect our officials to resolve the dilemma soon, but since they created the problem let's see if they can correct.

C.J. WELCH

Los Angeles

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