Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recycling Rant

I'm livid. I don't understand how difficult it is to put your recycling in the black recycling bin. It even has pictures on the front to show you what you can put in it. And it's not that long ago that it was always full and we often had to keep bags of recycling on the balcony until it was emptied. But now, every time I take the recycling it's practically empty. And bear in mind there are 24 flats in our building and one large black bin for recycling. Yet about 6 large green bins for waste. Wait a minute. That doesn't add up. There are so many things you can recycle now, yet it is assumed that there will be five or six times more waste than recycling. I don't think so. To our one waste bin bag, we usually have at least two of recycling, if not more. So is it only us recycling?

Today I took down three bags of recycling and a bin bag of waste and I walk in to the bin store - always expecting the worst - but was pleased to see that people had actually managed to put stuff in the bins and not just dump them on the floor. But in one of the green bins was two massive cardboard boxes and a bag full of empty glass and plastic bottles. Yet, the black recycling bin I just emptied in to was empty. I was so angry. It's right there. Just put them in the black bin. So I did. I took the bag of bottles and I put them in recycling. Then I looked at the cardboard boxes and thought, no, I've got to go and get this shopping done before everywhere gets busy.

But I couldn't stop thinking about those boxes all the way there and all the way back. Why are people doing this? Are they uneducated? Are they ignorant? Are they just plain rude? Or lazy? Or do they just not get it? I mean, what's not to get? Dumping stuff in landfill when it has no need to be dumped, equals bad. Recycling where possible, equals good. It's that simple. Most products and packaging even say on now if they can be recycled. And even if you're not sure, if in doubt put it in the recycling bin, because people are employed to sort through it. I'm pretty sure people don't sort through the green bins, even if they know there are recyclables in there. They just dump.

So after purchasing everything I needed for a spicy lamb pie, I considered my options: ignore the massive boxes and get on with the day, they're not my problem or my mess; or go in there and flatten away. It's a small victory, but one I'm willing to get my hands dirty for.

And so this is why I'm all sweaty and gross after ten minutes of dumpster diving and recycling other peoples' crap. The boxes really were huge and I struggled to get them out as heavier bags were holding down the bottom edges. But persevere I did - just like I persevere when cleaning out every peanut butter jar and yoghurt pot. And I stamped those boxes down and in they went. And still the black bin is virtually empty. Maybe a quarter full. I peeked in a couple of other bins and saw several amazon boxes, but I couldn't reach them over the side and I decided diving in again was not on the cards today.

But really, in this day and age, I don't get it. Why are you not recycling? It really doesn't take very long to clean something out, or flatten a box. And how can the idea of these things being dumped in the ground not make you feel sick and wrong and gross? A few years ago I even found a place to recycle VHS, because I had so many and I couldn't bear to think of them just being dumped in a hole in the ground. So I googled and found one of the only recycling plants in the country that do it and I sent them there. They recycle everything, including the actual film reel and the cases. And I thought, brilliant. Imagine my Buffy VHS and all my Friends VHS becoming something else, for someone else. Amazing!

Okay, rant over. I'm probably preaching to the converted. And really I'm not preaching at all. I'm just angry that every time I walk into that bin store I want to start rearranging and pulling crap out of bins. Maybe I've found my new calling in life? My main point is: don't be a dick, recycle. Perhaps that should be the new advertising slogan.

Anyhoo, I'll be back later for my third annual Year in Books. And in the meantime, have a great final day of this shitty year we call 2016.

Rants out.

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