Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Paper or Plastic ? Glass or Aluminum?

This is not product placement for Fuze, I promise.  This is my fancy recycling bin.  Technically, it's my fancy, glass recycling bin.  I have other such places for plastic (#'s 1 and 2), tin cans, newspapers, and aluminum.

Why such fancy bins?  Living in a rural neighborhood presents a recycling problem----we don't have a recycling program.  That means I have to save and haul my recyclables over hill and dale to the recycling place.  It's about 5 miles away as the crow flies, but about 10 miles as the truck drives.  It's no where near anything else.  It's out in the middle of nowhere.  It takes effort, but effort that I feel good about. I feel really good when I'm hauling my trash can to the street and it's not nearly full.  Before I committed myself to hauling my recyclables, our trash can was overflowing every week.  Now, it's only half full on most weeks.  I'm proud of that.  

My son, James, attends school in a neighborhood that has a recycling program.  I drive him there because it takes 5 minutes from our house.  It's nearly an hour on the bus----our district is still rural in that way.  I digress.  We go to meet his best friend and then we walk the 4 blocks to school.  As I walk along, every Wednesday, I take notice of people's trash cans and recycling bins.  I'm weird that way.  What leaps out at me is that only about 2 out of every 10 houses take advantage of the curbside recycling!  They have to go no further than the curb to recycle and they don't do it.  They don't even have to separate it.  They can toss everything into one bin and call it done.  Why don't they?

I'm not perfect.  I still drive an SUV.  I still throw away household paper and junk mail when I'm not near my newspaper bins.  I use paper towels to dry my hands in the kitchen.  I take too long in the shower.  I have been known to let the water run while brushing my teeth or washing a pan.  I'm often unaware that lights or ceiling fans have been left on in rooms that have no one in them.  I have begun recycling plastic grocery bags.  I bought cloth bags to use at the grocery store.  I collect rain water to water my indoor plants.  The point is, I'm not covering all the recycling bases, but I'm working on it.  I wish more people would.

Hey, remind me to take the lids off those bottles.  They won't recycle them if they have the lids. They just toss them in the trash.


  1. Good job! I'm similar as you in that I want to do more to recycle and reuse, but often fall short.

    At least we can feel good knowing we are making an effort.

    Like you, our recycling/transfer station is about 10 miles away. We do drive our recycleables there once a week, and you're right that it does make a huge difference in reducing the amount in the trash can.

    Unfortunately, that station doesn't recycle glass, and the closest recycling center that does, is more than 30 miles away.

    We have several bins filled with glass waiting for that long drive into the city, though.

    You're right that most of the city fold just don't know how lucky they've got it that they have curbside recycling.

  2. Hmmm...sounds like I have a twin out in Texas! haha