A Bit Of Common Sense: PNN Worker-Scholar Speaks On The Airport Toiletries Scam

POOR correspondent - Posted on 06 July 2010

Tony Robles/PNN Revolutionary Worker Scholar
Monday, April 21, 2008;

To produce each week's Sunday paper, a half million trees must be cut down.

I recently attended an award ceremony of people who have started recycling programs in their residential hotel buildings. When asked what they've learned in their efforts to recycle, many mentioned the fact that it takes a coordinated effort on the part of many people to make it work. Other folks cited the need to save the planet and still others observed that it had been a long time coming, that they should have started it sooner.

It gives me hope to hear people speak of a shared responsibility in trying to preserve the gifts that nature has provided us. In our capitalist reality, the word "share" is so rarely used that one would be hard to find it in Websters Dictionary.

I have worked in restaurants and have seen how much people waste. It is absolutely obscene what people and businesses throw away, food in particular; food that could feed a good many people.

I was watching a local newscast and learned of a bill proposed in the California State Senate that would give airport passengers the option of donating toiletries and other items surrendered at airports to homeless shelters.

Millions of pounds of toiletries are left with airport security every year. Senate bill 1577 would allow several California airports to give those items to homeless shelters. State Senator Dean Florez of Fresno is the bill's author. Florez launched a pilot program in Bakersfield and Fresno in 2007. Hundreds of pounds of toiletries were collected. Passengers would have the option to place these items in bins that would be bound for homeless shelters. Airports and airline lobbyists against the bill cite possible liability issues.

Currently, the massive amounts of toiletries collected end up in landfills.

On April 16th the bill passed the state senate transportation and housing committee. Next it goes to the Senate appropriations committee. If it passes, it goes to the full senate, then the full assembly. If it makes it past the state assembly, it goes to the Governor.

"There is an opportunity here to take something, which is being collected today and sent to a landfill, and instead send it to someone who will use it and appreciate it," Florez said.

It sounds like plain old common sense to me.


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