Cheers to the 400-plus community-minded citizens who turned out for the “Let’s Talk Trash” forum at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station hotel. The free event hosted by Friends of Lackawanna marked an unmistakable step forward in stopping the unconscionable proposed 50-year expansion of Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore and Throop. Read Times-Tribune Staff Writer Kyle Wind‘s coverage of the event here.

U.S. Sen Bob Casey introduced a discussion panel that included state Sen. John Blake, D-22, Archbald; John Quigley, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection; Stephen Lester, science director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice; and Lois Gibbs, the environmental defense pioneer who in 1978 exposed the Love Canal toxic waste scandal in Niagara Falls, New York.

“This is the largest landfill I have seen in my 37 years,” Ms. Gibbs told the lively crowd, which was so large an extra section of the ballroom had to be opened. “I cannot imagine what it’s going to look like with a 50-year permit. … I’ve never seen a 50-year permit.”

I presume that’s because the notion of granting a 50-year expansion to an amusement park would be absurd, let alone making a landfill the most prominent feature of a region tens of thousands of families call home.

It’s time for neighbors to stand up and stick together against a common threat. Last night was a good start, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. Never forget that.