Over 200 people crowded a South Lyon City Council meeting to protest it. A Facebook group quickly swelled to over 600 members, each one dismayed at the very prospect of something so horrid earning a home in their community.
Was it a toxic waste site? A red-light district? Yet another big box store in a sea of big boxes?
Nope. Ire was raised over the prospect of a municipal composting facility, which would have kept hundreds of tons of organic matter out of landfills and, in turn, would have been used to improve the gardens in South Lyon city parks. The measure was abandoned by Spurt Industries, the company would have been responsible for maintaining the facility, in the face of such strong opposition by the community.
The main concern expressed by opponents of the measure was odor.
Let's get something straight. The composting facility was supposed to be located on 40 acres of city-owned property, which includes the very park that the compost would have benefited. It should also be noted that the State of Michigan has recently instituted measures to regulate municipal composting, including regular inspections for moisture levels and contaminants. Compost that is maintained properly has no odor, save a clean, earthy smell that practically makes a gardener's heart flutter.
It is ridiculous that in this day and age of increased understanding of envirnomental issues we have public outcry over something that is simply common sense. South Lyon is only the most recent city to face opposition over composting. Rochester Hills and Detroit have both dealt with the same issues. What bothers me is that this attitude seems to mirror the same flawed reasoning that keeps our state clinging to gas-guzzling cars and a general mistrust of public transportation. In terms of environmental sense, much of the tri-county area is still in the Dark Ages. At worst, we don't want to be bothered with all of that "green living stuff," as I've heard one person put it. At best, we understand the issues, but we don't want to have to change the way we live to accomplish the change we need. Either way, it's short-sighted and irresponsible.
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