After nearly a decade of hearings, studies and county political maneuvering, the Montgomery County Council has finally decided upon a solid waste disposal plan for the county. Albert Parr, former president of the Grater Shady Grove Civic Alliance and I, the current president, commend the council members who followed the county executive's recommendation to site the incinerator in a remote section of the county. Somewhat surprisingly, the council members who chose to ignore the executive's studied recommendation were on the council when the plan was devised to let the executive decide the form of the long-term solid waste disposal plan. We have consistently felt that an incinerator was intrinsically unsafe and potentially detrimental to the environment and should not be sited anywhere. However, if it has to be an incinerator, then a remote site is obviously preferable to the densely crowded and developing Shady Grove area.

We feel strongly that the council and other county planning bodies should control the residential development near the Dickerson site to help minimize the possible effects upon citizens in Montgomery County. This is an excellent opportunity to make use of the Transferable Development Rights program to keep the density of residential use down in this area. Additionally, those residents most directly affected should be appropriately compensated so they can relocate if they desire it.

None of these safe and humane options are available at the Shady Grove site where hundreds of thousands of people would be directly affected. A comprehensive recycling plan should be based upon county-wide collection; and planning with perhaps more transfer stations should be developed and funded to carry the county into the next century.