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City gets science lesson


A gaggle of tiny people visited City Council last week to query, “What is going on with the lack of recycling in Detroit?” Unfortunately, though quite astute, the little activists didn’t get much of a response. The director of the city’s trash incinerator, Michael Brinker, and representatives of the city environmental department, though invited by council, were not present. Nevertheless, the fourth-grade science class from Mexicantown’s Academy of the Americas gave a presentation replete with slide show and demonstrations illustrating how Detroit burns its garbage instead of recycling it. Gabriel Gutierrez, 10, reported that when the city’s incinerator at Russell and Ferry streets burns trash, particles released travel up to 1,000 miles before landing. Animals ingest dioxins — toxic pollutants caused by burning plastics at the incinerator, says Gutierrez. “When we kill the animals to eat them, 90 percent of the dioxin goes to us.”

“Detroit doesn’t look so well because there is trash everywhere, and I think there should be recycling bins everywhere so it wouldn’t look so dirty and people wouldn’t have to drive or walk half an hour to the recycling center,” Gutierrez said. “Detroit used to be a very great city, very beautiful. I want it to be the way it was back then.”

Lisa M. Collins is a Metro Times staff writer. E-mail