Monday, March 15, 2010

Household chemical waste disposal day

On my way to work this morning, I saw a sign on US Route 1 for "Mercer County Household Chemical and Electronics Waste Disposal Day". Three Saturdays a year, Mercer County offers a 6-hour window when people can drop off various household chemicals (aerosol cans, propane tanks, etc.).

Sponsored by the

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. • Rain or Shine
John T. Dempster Fire School
Bakers Basin/Lawrence Station Road • Lawrence Township

“Household Chemical and Electronics Waste
Disposal Days are a great opportunity to remove
dangerous chemicals or materials from your
home and dispose of them in an environmentally
friendly and safe manner without making a lot of
effort. Just gather up your chemical containers
and old electronics, bring them to the Dempster
Center, and let Mercer County do the rest.”
– Brian M. Hughes, County Executive
What's stopping the county -- and homeowners -- from disposing of these chemicals and materials on a regular basis?  What homeowner wants to stockpile old aerosol cans in their house until one of these three Saturdays comes along?  I'm sure there are facilities around the county where such things can be disposed of at leisure, but I don't know where they are or what their hours are.

I think this is a decent analogy for the general attitude (at least in some dioceses in the United States) towards the sacrament of Reconciliation.  While some parishes have the sacrament celebrated weekly, it isn't given great publicity.  There are communal penance services (with individual reception of the sacrament, of course!) during Advent and Lent, but does this promote the proper theology of this sacrament, the proper theology of sin?  It's unhealthy and improper to hold onto mortal sins for months at a time (keeping them "under the kitchen sink", if you will) all the while going about like nothing's amiss.

Mortal sins, like volatile chemicals, deserve (even demand) immediate attention.  If priests can make the sacrament of Reconciliation more available to those souls under their care (and any other souls who happen to be passing by), and speak up about the necessity, importance, and beauty of this sacrament, then maybe we'll regain a sense of sin and a sense of personal responsibility for our conduct as Catholics, and (God-willing) we'll become more faithful, charitable, and moral people.

1 comment:

Juan Fermin said...

It's amazing how, especially with all this talk of "Going Green", so few people are even willing to examine the role they play with the toxic chemicals they use throughout their homes. Even when given a chance to change, many choose not to. Even if it doesn't cost them a dime more to "switch stores".

The funny thing is, you hear about things like saving the environment with things like turning off your lights, or driving less, basically things that save energy or reducing Carbon, when it's not yet known EXACTLY what the detrimental effects of Carbon would be both to the Environment and your health.
Yet when it comes to the Toxic chemicals we're using every day, like Bleach, Ammonia, Phosphates and Formaldehyde, we ALREADY know that they ARE in fact Toxic Chemicals. We already know their detrimental effects on the water supply, and yet most people are unwilling to switch.