Saturday, May 3, 2008

Benjamin, I've got just one word to say to you...

This morning Sweetie and I are taking our plastics to the quarterly Plastics Recycling Roundup. This is an amazing program sponsored by Metro's Master Recyclers and it allows you to recycle all your plastic. That's right,
ALL of it: lids, the bits of protective covering around food tubs, shrink wrap, plastic gardening pots, and all of the plastic flotsam and jetsam which pervades our lives and isn't recyclable at the curb or your local high-end grocery store.

We started participating in this program a year ago, and the results have been amazing. We have monthly garbage pickup (with only the two of us, plus our compost bin, we don't generate enough trash for more frequent service), and before we started recycling our plastic at the Roundup we'd overflow the 55-gallon can by the end of the month. Since we started this program, we often don't even reach our can's capacity in one month. I love it when personal environmental changes show such obvious, measurable results. This ain't just feeling good for changing your lightbulbs, folks. You can really see the difference, both in your trash can and on your garbage bill. We have friends who live in a large combined-family household (about 10-12 people), and they told me the first time they did this, their garbage can requirements dropped from eight to one. Pretty damn cool.

Anyway, if you're interested in learning more about this program, you can check it out at  If you don't live in our neck of the woods, check out the recycling programs where you live. There might be something this comprehensive where you are; if there isn't, and you think there should be, forward your local recyclers this link and demand it.

For the Jews reading this, Shabbat shalom. This is my tikkun olam for the week. For the rest of you, happy Saturday.

1 comment:

beth h said...

And now, a word from Sweetie:

Of course, the key to this whole plastics recycling thing, the REAL key, is to use these quarterly jaunts as an opportunity to examine one's shopping habits and reduce the amount of plastic-packaged stuff up front, at the checkstand. That's certainly in MY head on these trips to divest ourselves of plastics.

For one thing, we recently decided to stop buying margarine (Melisa, thanks for encouraging me to think "butter-positive"!), which keeps a buncha tubs outta the stream before we even open them up.

The point is that too many things come packaged in plastic at the outset; too many stores won't allow me to bring my own containers and buy more stuff in real bulk, in amounts *I* deem appropriate. So right now it feels sort of like a little fight. But eventually the goal is to not need to buy so much that is pre-packaged. That's the part most municipal recycling programs don't talk much about but there it is. Part of recycling means reducing and reusing as well.