May 12, 2020
Over the last 10 weeks my garage has been filling up with trash. This is good trash, not bad trash, but it is still trash. What I am talking about is my recycling. I already had about three weeks stored when they closed our Recycling Center seven weeks ago. I believe this is an important service so rather than just putting these items in the trash to go to the dump, I have been dutifully sorting, separating, and storing ten weeks’ worth of trash. You can imagine my relief when I learned over the weekend the center was reopen for collection.
I try to be very conscientious about my recycling. I break down my cardboard boxes so more can fit in the shredder bin before it needs to run. I have stopped putting cardboard that contained food (like pizza boxes) in the bin since I spoke with the attendant and she told me this contaminates the cardboard. The recycling companies have refused to accept whole loads because of intermixed food items. I separate my glass from my tin (including taking off the lids) and pull the denser lids off the plastic bottles. I have felt good about the work I put into recycling and believe this is one way to help save our planet.
That was until I loaded my Jeep with 10 weeks of recycling. It filled every nook and cranny of my vehicle and did not include the tin cans I take to another recycling spot. In my defense much of this was cardboard and most of that has arrived at our house in shipments of succulents for Melissa’s garden. Still, I was surprised by the amount of glass, tin, and plastic I had accumulated. At least it did not go to the landfill.
THOUGHTS: I am amazed by the amount of trash we collectively accumulate. There have been legal battles fought over where to dump trash on land and whether it is safe to dump trash into the ocean. Landfills create controversy by producing smelly mountains of trash that drive down property values. Cities transport trash to rural areas and let others deal with the problem. We dump trash into the ocean but rather than sinking to the bottomless depths (to impact life forms there) the ocean currents accumulate the trash in areas like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This vortex spans from the west coast of America to Japan. Some are voicing concern and trying to clean these areas. Perhaps an additional solution is to find a way to create less trash. If it is possible, Stay home. Stay safe.