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Monday, April 13, 2009

A Minor irritation

I signed up for recycling with my trash hauler the other day, and they just delivered my bin.
Up until now I have been collecting large amounts of recycling and hauling it all to the center myself.
At the recycling center they take almost any recyclable....
plastics 1-6,
all glass, any color but no window glass.
metals (not scrap, though) Tin, steel, aluminum, any normal household metal cans....
All papers and cardboard and paperboard, mixed and flattened, or shredded....
plus you can also drop off your yard wastes if you need to.
They even sell bagged compost.
{at one point, they also had a little Goodwill donation shed, which was GREAT!!! but it has been moved out now, unfortunately.}

So what is irritating? Well, I am such a procrastinator when it comes to leaving my house and it seems like eons before I haul away my collection of trash...to the dismay of my parents, in laws and friends... In fact, I think I effectively put off recycling for 3 or 4 months this winter...and paid for it, too when I had to haul that amount of garbage to the center!!!

OK, so why is signing up irritating??
Well, the service is $5 more a month, which takes my quarterly trash bill from $45 to $60 bucks...
Here's the problem: My trash hauler ONLY accepts:
Plastic #1-2
Newspaper (and I mean ONLY NEWSPAPER)
Glass that is clear, brown or green.
Tin and aluminum.


You have to personally sort your trash in paper bags (wasteful) and there is a large number of things that I will have to save until I FINALLY make the trip to the center.....
Mostly I am upset that they don't do cardboard or paperboard...NO MAGAZINES, or junk mail.
I am still going to have to haul all sorts of paper to the recycling center all the time. The whole point of signing up was to save the gas and the guilt of storing the trash, for a little piece of mind...but when I read about the newspaper I almost cried (seriously) because I feel like they are taking advantage of people.
I feel like they should be looking at the environment and not their BOTTOM LINE!!!
At my house, and I bet your own house, we end up with a TON of plastic from milk jugs (generally #1) to soda bottles (also #1), to yogurt cups (probably #5 with a #4 lid) or take out drink lids (generally #6-#8, but could be anything depending on where you are).....
But we also end up with more than soda cans (which I would rather keep the $ for, personally), veggie tins and cat food cans (which are generally aluminum, not tin, but also not the same as soda cans, which are lined). We don't subscribe to the newspaper, so the fact that they WILL accept that is absolutely useless, if I can't throw in some junk mail and my kids spelling tests each day! In my opinion it is not even worth trying to squeeze an extra grocery bag into the bin for paper, when I can just take it myself. We usually end up with several paper bags of paper board...my family LOVES cereal and blue box mac n cheese....so we have tons of it to go out....
So, yes, it is VERY irritating to me because, although I don't know much about their business, I would be willing to bet that every last thing they offer to recycle is for personal gain. I know in California they get a deposit for plastic as well as glass. There are a lot of homeless people feeding their vices from the deposit money they get from the serious bottled water addiction going on out there. There have been articles about the amount of bottled water waste that has to be recycled each year being an epidemic in and of itself. {there is always 2 sides to the coin, people}.
There are many efforts being made by eco-friendly people to remove the soda bottles and such from the municipal trash and recycling stream and give them yet another life...I believe it was a worm composting business (vermiculture) that used this trash to bottle their product. Each and every bottle was different soda brands, etc. It was a great idea and probably cut costs for that company, as well as wasting energy melting the trash down and reforming it.
The point is, My trash hauler, as much as I appreciate the service they provide me, is benfitting somehow from what they offer and that is why they don't offer to do more....it doesn't benefit them.
This is the reason why MOST PEOPLE don't recycle.....and if they do, only aluminum (you know who you are!) because they get money from it. They have no desire to do good for the planet, or make less impact, and the only resource they intend to conserve is MONEY. Which is not what being green is about...(not that it has no place in my life, by any means, but I found that there are more important things in life, believe it or not!)

The Burroughs:

I recently visited a little town in New Jersey.
In this town all the neighbors are always outside. They work in their yard, jog, walk the dog, walk the babies....they are friendly and active. In this town, recycling is mandatory, but it is also provided. I don't think that they accept that many things as far as types of each material, I honestly don't know EXACTLY what got recycled...but I was tickled pink that every last house in the neighborhood had a bin....everyone made it a part of their daily lives to recycle. And because it was LEGALLY expected of them they easily adapt to it, like putting on a seat belt. It becomes an easy habit.
Another thing I noticed while I was there was that yard waste was most generally put in very large, thick PAPER bags. {my inlaws actually gave me a purchase package of these from Best Choice....and I am currently using it for all that paperboard the trash co. won't take!}. Instead of seeing bag after black lawn and leaf bag on the curbs and side yards of the neighbors, you see four foot tall brown, recycled paper lawn and leaf bags, full to the top and set neatly near the trash. I am not sure if they had a related pick up with the trash and recyclables, but I bet that is exactly what it was.
For as glad as I am to be able to recycle pretty much everything but styrofoam and blue jeans, (well, almost)...I thought, "these guys really have a good thing going"......
I don't know if the people of that township feel all warm and fuzzy inside when they put their Evian bottles in the bin, or rake their leaves into a container that biodegrades easily without much worry about contamination. But for me, it was like that thing you dream about "a perfect world" and it made me wonder if we will ALL pitch in to get there someday. I hope so.

I guess that is it for now, I just had to get that off my chest because it bothers me so much!

1 comment:

  1. Have you called other Haulers that provide a better recycling program?

    ReplyDelete

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