December 4, 2012

Letters to the editor: Casella, pipeline take unfair hits

I have been an employee of Pine Tree Waste/Casella Waste Management for more than a decade. I am getting a bit tired of all the bad press that your paper puts out concerning our company ("Maine company, pipeline make 'Dirty Dozen' polluters list," Nov. 28).

click image to enlarge

Casella Waste Management, parent company of MERC (smokestack seen above), has been unduly targeted by the Press Herald, though its environmental sustainability efforts haven’t been recognized, an employee says.

2012 File Photo/Gregory Rec

What I fail to see in your paper is the great accomplishment Pine Tree Waste/Casella Waste Management has done for New England and the state of Maine when it comes to the sustainability methods we all put into handling the waste and recycle materials we all produce every day.

Did you know that Casella partners with as the first ever climate leader project? Did you also know that in 2008, Casella was the Industry Partner of the Year with the Environmental Protection Agency in our industry?

Please look at our commitment to protecting and conserving environmental resources and how it opens up exciting and viable new business opportunities.

By the way, that means jobs. We have been a leader in LEED Green Construction projects throughout our state for construction waste since 2006.

How many communities in Maine have us service them for their recycling and waste needs, and how do we work with municipalities to help them become environmentally sustainable and reduce their budget cost? In my Scarborough division alone, the most recent count was 42 communities.

So the next time Casella is on an activist list, maybe your paper can find how we are trying to find the best way to handle these waste streams before you label us as one of the "Dirty Dozen."

Bill Bennett


The article "Maine company, pipeline make 'Dirty Dozen' polluters list" on Nov. 28 suggests that oil sands-derived crude is more corrosive than conventional oil.

It is important to note that often-cited allegations that diluted bitumen from Canada's oil sands is more corrosive in pipelines are false. Both scientific research and industrial experience have determined that bitumen-derived crude oil is no more corrosive in transmission pipelines than other crudes.

I refer you to a fact sheet on this subject, Bitumen-Derived Crude and Corrosivity, which is available on Natural Resources Canada's pipeline facts Web page at

Patrick Binns

consul general of Canada to New England


People who play the lottery also pay an 'invisible tax' 

You "never" gamble, but you're going to buy a lottery ticket now that it's "more valuable"? The trouble is that the ticket's value hasn't changed. Its value is still about half of what it costs. That's because about half the ticket sale money goes into running the ticket-selling business and into the state's piggy bank to fund things we won't vote to pay for with visible taxes.

If you and I have a friendly game of pure chance where each of us occasionally receives some of what both have put in, the most likely probability (provided neither bottoms out and can't play anymore) is that we will end up where we started.

But, if to play, we have to pay someone else to provide us with dice or cards or fantastic machines, both of us would end up poorer by the amount of that cost.

The probability of winning is one thing, but what really matters is what the statisticians call the expectation of winning, which is the probability times the amount at stake.

If you and I each put in $2, with a 50-50 probability of winning, the expectation for each of us is 50 percent of the $4 total, just equal to the $2 each put in. But if half the pool goes elsewhere, our expectation drops to $1 each, and that is the investment value of what each of us bought for $2.

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