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July 16, 2008



I would like to comment on 2 issues since I was born and lived in Albania during the Hoxha years/regime:

- First - recycling: we were NOT forced to recycle. We were poor and recycling would give us back some cash - in most cases our own cash, since we paid for deposits/containers at the time of purchase. This applied to glass only. To add one more detail, glass bottles were carefully checked by the attendant on duty if they were chipped around the edge. If yes, tough luck. As far as paper, we could make some money if we packed it right and took it to the recycling center/shop. Plastic was not recyclable. Nor were Hoxha's books.

Second - pristine areas vs. urbanization. Local folks/people do not need examples to refrain from offering their land for development. What is indeed needed are some strict planning and zoning laws. In the United States (and I am sure in other countries around the world) owning a piece of land doesn't give you the right to wake up one morning and decide to have a Hilton built in your backyard. Of course people would go for quick money. That piece of land was taken away from them for years, so little or not at all would they care to get a nice green pasture view.

To cut a long story short:
a - recycling needs education, incentives, fines and regulations;
b - Aggressive development cannot be stopped by convincing examples, but by strict development laws.

Shifting the blame is easy; taking responsibility is what really counts.

Thank you.

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