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I would like to comment on "Use of disposables is wasteful" (letter, April 22). While the writer took lots of time to do the math, which I commend him on, I think he forgot some important details.

He did not provide the amount of money that would be spent for reusable flatware in the dining facilities. There are costs associated with this, i.e., initial price and replacement costs for broken or lost items. Additionally, chemicals needed for a dishwasher also cost money. The dishwashers use two types of solution to wash and disinfect the dishes. Constantly purchasing and shipping these chemicals add up, maybe not to the amount the plastic ware does, but it’s quite a large amount. There is also the weight of items to consider. These costs cannot be avoided as water alone is not enough.

Now we have to look at the fact that you would use water. Iraq and Afghanistan are in the desert; this means limited water. I know several bases on water rations. Some have even stated that they will run out of water in the next 30 days. Now imagine what would happen if you had to wash dishes for 10,000 meals a day, and that is only for one DFAC.

I agree that, under normal circumstances, plastics and paper that just get thrown away are extremely wasteful. Given our current situation in a desert, I think KBR made the right choice in ensuring that we would be able to take a shower.

Colin GerdingIraq

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