The Jan. 27 article, "State ready to get tougher on trash," is a reminder that the cultivation of a throwaway society, developed during the last 50 years, has its costs. We were taught that re-use is shoddy and unsanitary, and to throw away is easy.

Now responsible consumers shuffle through unwanted containers, squint for recycling numbers, carry plastic bags back to the store, hope there is a market for the plastic, and trust neighbors are doing the same. Then we pay to have our trash hauled away, enclosed in plastic, while we hope that the landfills do not leach and the air from the burner is safe to breathe.

Finally, I wonder if our hauler drives the garbage all the way to its landfill in the burbs. My mother, best manager of household resources ever, always said that it does not pay to be wasteful. She is right again.