Sometimes a story come wandering across the Wellthisiswhatithink desk that make us righteously angry, squirming with embarrassment, and gets us shaking our heads in disbelief, all at the same time.
Toni Shelton, who lives in Sugar Creek, Missouri, has been repainting old tires to turn them into flower planters.
“I was just really interested in recycling and I’m really big on self-sufficiency,” she told KCTV news.
Not only is Shelton using the tires decoratively, as painted flower planters, but also to grow fresh vegetables for her family.
Sounds like a great idea, right?
After all, recycling is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our planet for future generations.
Apparently, the authorities in Sugar Creek do not agree.
They have issued Shelton a citation, but she is refusing to pay the fine on principle. Instead, she is prepared to go to jail after she was threatened by authorities in her home town.
Why are these tires such a threat to Sugar Creek? Well, apparently the number of tires she was storing could attract mosquitoes and lower property values.
Oh no! What could be more important than property values?
Well, let’s even concede the town has a point. Citing her, and threatening to prosecute her, is ludicrous. Even though the police department said they don’t have a problem with her using the tires as planters, they told her to get rid of her unused supply and fined her before she had a chance to move them.
“We’d asked her to put them somewhere else because there were quite a number of them,” Sugar Creek Chief Herb Soule insisted.”We try to keep people from accumulating tires because they retain water and they attract mosquitos. They detract from property values in the neighborhood too.”
In response, Shelton has now moved most of the old tires and is storing some of them inside of an old truck.
Still, she said she won’t get rid of all the tires because she said it would send the wrong message to her children. And to other environmentally aware people, presumably.
“I don’t want my kids to see me back down and not follow my heart,” she explained.
Anyhow, unless pressure not to do so can be brought to bear, the case will be heard in municipal court in Sugar Creek next week.
Missouri officials don’t seem to be aware, but here are some of the benefits of recycling:
• Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness;
• Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;
• Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials;
• Recycling saves energy;
• Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change;
• Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
• Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.
Shelton’s way of recycling these ugly objects should be applauded rather than punished. Shelton has moved her unused supply of tires to an enclosed space, but she says she’d rather go to jail than pay a citation for trying to set a good example for her kids.
If you agree that Toni Shelton is improving the environment by recycling old tires and that, far from being punished, she should be applauded, please sign the petition demanding that all charges against her be dropped immediately. They have 238 signatures already, (after I have just added mine), and are seeking at least 5,000. Let’s get it done, people.
Fellow bloggers, please PRESS THIS.
The phrase “the law is an ass” was popularized by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, when the character Mr. Bumble is informed that “The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”.
Mr. Bumble grumpily replies “If the law supposes that … the law is a [sic] ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”