Friday, February 26, 2016

A Brief Recycling Rant

I just got done taking out our trash, recycling and bags of yard waste from Dave's recent spate of gardening. Someone had thrown a bunch of dead leaves into the recycling bin, which makes me crazy, because it's for plastics and paper and glass and metal and cardboard -- not for yard waste. The bags are for yard waste.

Why people struggle with separating their trash I will never understand. It's just not that hard. I once had a boss, back at the dawn of the municipal recycling era, who steadfastly refused to do it. He believed local government officials were shifting the burden of labor onto residents rather than taking care of a responsibility -- solid waste disposal -- that was rightly theirs. "I pay taxes for that!" he would say. Nowadays at least most recycling can be mixed, rather than set out in individual bins for each category -- so my old boss's vision has somewhat come to pass.

And separating can go too far: When curbside recycling first began in the U.S., we were advised to take lids off jars and bottles, including those annoying little metal or plastic rings around the tops. I think we may have even been expected to soak off labels. That's a bit extreme.

Anyway, it's all become much easier now, which is why it makes me nuts when I find dead leaves in the bin rather than in a yard waste bag. These neighbors of mine, I tell you.

(I must sound like a terrible person, always kvetching about my neighbors. I promise, I am a nice guy, as long as everyone does their part!)

I scooped the leaves into the proper bag, at least the ones I could easily grab.

Anyway, otherwise, there's not a lot going on around here at the moment. At work, the students are off school yesterday and today. These two days are set aside for parents to meet with teachers. Since I'm not a teacher, I'm just reshelving and organizing books!

(Photo: The Thames from Rotherhithe, early last week.)


Sharon said...

I hear you! That kind of thing drives me mad too! Fortunately, since I moved to the new place I haven't seen much of that going on but, back in the old neighborhood it happened all the time.

Ms. Moon said...

We don't have that sort of problem in Lloyd. We are all responsible for taking our own trash and recycle to the dump place. We just have to deal with things like hog dogs barking all day long.

ellen abbott said...

no curbside recycling in this little town but we do have a recycling site that has separate containers for cardboard, plastic bottles, paper, and aluminum. in the city we never had to share a recycling container as the city gave each homeowner their own. I don't know how apartment dwellers handled it. I bag up the plastic # 3,4,5,7 and send them and the glass in with my daughter who still lives in the city. but, yeah, how hard is it to sort the recyclables? people are just lazy.

Red said...

Recycling has come a long way. The public participation is much higher and some even want to recycle leaves! Give the guy a break . He's really trying!!!

jenny_o said...

We have a strict recycling program in my province and people are getting trained pretty well; we even have waste audits where they check everything to make sure it's done right and tag and leave behind anything that's not up to snuff. We may be a Canadian backwater but we have one of the best rates of recovery in the continent. Seriously! And I'm with you - it's not that hard to do it right!