Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Please drop Mark Trail

The Mark Trail comic strip, currently illustrated and written by Jules Rivera, is a continuing daily insult to everyone who loves the outdoors. When Riviera took over the long-running (70 years) syndicated Mark Trail strip, she vowed to bring the artwork and story lines into the 21st century. Unfortunately, judging by each day’s panels, Rivera seems intent on converting Trail into a scraggly-looking, emotionally insecure loser, rather than the strong outdoor-loving hero who inspired generations to love the environment so dear to most Mainers.

I do not generally endorse the “cancel culture,” but I also do not want to be reminded daily of how much we have lost with the “new” Mark Trail. For the sake of those of us who love the outdoors, please drop this strip immediately and replace it with anything else.

Ed Linz

Greenville

Cianchette pushing an agenda

As usual, I find Republican Michael Cianchette’s opinion to be disingenuous, hypocritical nonsense.

It is astounding (not really) that Republicans who enthusiastically supported the former guy’s no strings attached rich people giveaway in 2017 are now all up in arms about SALT, a vindictive tax increase specifically targeted to cause pain for property owners in blue states.

The motives here appear crystal clear: support Donald Trump, get favors. Don’t, get punished. No surprise a GOP member continues to push that agenda.

Lisa Keenan

South Portland

Grim indeed

With the introduction of LD 1639, “An Act To Protect the Health and Welfare of Maine Communities and Reduce Harmful Solid Waste,” the future of construction and demolition debris (CDD) recycling in Maine has been brought to the forefront, and that future is grim.

To focus just on “out-of-state” CDD waste, as LD 1639 does, means we are missing the bigger picture of the environmental impact Maine’s own waste is having on a larger scale.

Casella agrees it’s time to have a serious discussion about how we can recycle more in-state generated CDD waste and ultimately beneficially reuse materials recovered from it. In its efforts to eliminate some out-of-state waste, LD 1639 would remove any CDD recycling mandates, ensure that no in-state CDD gets recycled, would lead to the closure of a necessary recycling facility, and in doing so could cost over 75 people their jobs. Grim, indeed.

Currently, the processing facilities in the state only process a fraction of Maine’s CDD generated in-state due to geographical location and transportation expense.

According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s bi-annual report on statewide waste generation released this year, the amount of CDD generated in Maine in 2018 and 2019 was approximately 900,000 tons. Of that amount 2.3 percent (21,000/tons) was recycled leaving the remaining 879,000 tons of in-state CDD unprocessed and landfilled. In comparison to Maine-generated CDD of 900,000 tons, the amount of out-of-state CDD waste processed and recycled in Maine in the same timeframe was approximately 215,000 tons — most at the Resource facility in Lewiston. This facility is currently investing $1.5 million in equipment to dramatically improve recovery and recycling rates for both in-state and out-of-state CDD.

In the bigger picture, the fight against CDD coming into Maine for processing and recycling is going after low-hanging fruit when the tree is rotten.

A genuine environmental vision instead calls us to develop more infrastructure in Maine to process and recycle the 879,000 tons of in-state generated CDD waste that is currently being landfilled raw when beneficial uses are available for that material if it were processed and recycled.

Shelby D. Wright

Eastern Region Manager of Engagement

Casella

Hampden