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Borough of Avalon v. Neithammer

Decided: November 29, 1952.

BOROUGH OF AVALON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDWARD J. NEITHAMMER, DEFENDANT



Tenenbaum, J.c.c.

Tenenbaum

The defendant, Edward J. Neithammer, appeals de novo from a conviction before the Municipal Magistrate of the Borough of Avalon for a violation of its Ordinance No. 235 as amended by Ordinance No. 264.

The pertinent portion of the original ordinance is as follows: "No person * * * engaged * * * for the purpose of collecting garbage * * * shall dump, place, keep or store * * * garbage * * * within * * * Avalon." The amended ordinance provides: "No person * * * shall dump, place, keep or store garbage * * * within the territorial limits of the Borough of Avalon."

At the hearing upon appeal the defendant admitted on the day in question he had dumped a can of garbage in a hole in the ground in the rear of his residence, which hole he had dug for that specific purpose. He had intended to cover the garbage with earth to enrich the soil as he had done on many occasions before, but was apprehended before being able to complete the operation.

He seeks to escape from the prohibition ordained on the assertion that his conduct was not within the intendment of the ordinances aforementioned.

I have no doubt that the method employed by this defendant to enrich his soil was inoffensive.

Rackham Holt in his book on the life of George Washington Carver, the great scientist, discusses with infinite detail the inexpensive and satisfactory manner of urging the land to greater productivity by the use of organic matter rather than by chemicals.

A. W. Martinez's story in Colliers magazine of recent date of the great success of Dr. Ehrenfried E. Pfeiffer of Oakland, California, who transformed the city's garbage "into fertilizer -- a sweet-smelling black earth that would perform

virtual miracles for the land," was in a small way emulated by the defendant.

Dr. Selman A. Waksman, a recent Nobel Prize winner and the discoverer of streptomycin, in his book Humus says that,

"The mere presence of organic matter is sufficient to depress the action of disease organisms. Something in the organic matter has that power -- whether it is some anti-biotic organisms, or something as yet unknown cannot be said with certainty. If you have plenty of organic matter in the soil under proper conditions of decay and observe the necessary period of waiting before planting on raw matter, one need not fear disease."

Garbage, the mere mention of which offended the olfactory sense, has now reached majestic stature in agricultural importance. Sterile fields are made prolific, yielding the "bumper crop."

The old adage of one man's meat may be another's poison has some logical application to the line of demarcation between what may be of great advantage in the rural areas may be ...


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