Friday, May 02, 2014

A Rant About Recycling

Do you recycle?

Dear Recycling,

I used to happily do you. All the time. In Canada growing up, you were nice and easy. In Korea, I have to admit you were a bit annoying because so many things could (and were encouraged to) be recycled and I had to drag you into a smelly, sketchy alley. In America, though, in America we’ve gotta talk. 

You are surprisingly so incredibly difficult here in the States.

Maybe because I’m not in a “green” area per se, but it’s a good-sized city and there’s no residential pickup at all. Last week we drove more than 20 minutes out of town to drop you off, my dear recycling, at a self-serve dump. That was fun. I was expecting to toss and go, but alas, I had to sort you myself on the spot then throw you out anyway as I found out so many things aren’t even recyclable here! 

Yogurt cups? Microwave trays? Paper and magazines? Plastic wrappers? Denied. Only the basics are even recycled in the first place. 

I swing between feeling guilty and feeling lazy whenever it’s time to toss something out. Guilt is my only motivator for doing you now, to be honest, because I was raised that you’re a good thing, mother earth, blah blah, and I do drink my fair share of bottled water as I’m a bit of a tap water snob. But when I’m at the dump sorting through my garbage because I didn’t realize all these wrappers and containers were suddenly non-recyclable, well, that’s a whole lotta effort for me. I’m not so into the hands-on thing where you’re concerned. 

Is that bad for me to admit that I only do you when it’s easy? You pile up and take away my precious counter space and I’m so tempted just to throw you in the garbage these days. I had a blind eye to the situation in Central America but now… oh recycling. What are we going to do? I hope I can get back to doing you all the time but here in America I just don’t know. 

Love from your lazy Canadian friend,

Conan judging you gif jif

Do you recycle or are you judging me too? I'm curious to hear your take on it. Leave a comment below!

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  1. I totally agree! When I was in university, so much was diverted from the trash. I got so used to organics and recycling everything! When we moved to Alaska, I was super shocked that recycling was practically invisible. We weren't in an area with regular recycling pickup, so we had to drive out of our way to a depot. Even then, what could be recycled was minimal. The thing that killed me the most was that since everything has to be shipped out of the state on a boat, there wasn't any glass recycling!! It was way too expensive to ship. I felt so guilty throwing glass into the garbage. For a place largely untouched by man, it was kind of disappointing to see.

  2. I'm able to recycle quite easily where i live in FL. The city that I live in provides a large bin and they pick up every 2 weeks.

  3. Ahhh! I totally get it! We live a rural area that only recycles "narrow necked" #1 plastic. I cringe inwardly very time I have to throw away a perfectly recyclable plastic container because they don't take it. This simple eco act shouldn't be so difficult! Did I mention we have to haul our own garbage and recycling to the town dump? Oy. I'm not a finicky girl, but curbside pick-up is a "luxury" I look forward to upon moving. :)

  4. You're in the south where they don't do "that there recycling." LOL! Where I grew up recycling is nonexistent. I didn't even learn about it until I went to college.

  5. I'm really lucky in terms of recycling facilities provided around here - there is a pick up for paper, card, plastic bottles, glass and cans. Then every local supermarket will have places to recycle batteries and carrier bags and other bits and bobs. There's not a lot that you're forced to put in the bin, but if I'm honest I am sometimes a little lazy even when it's made so easy for me!

  6. I feel your pain!! The only reason why I recycle is because here in Austin, everyone is an environment freak. Don't get me wrong, I care about the earth, but if it became a hassle for me and if the man that comes around every week to pick up the recyclables from my house stopped coming, I would not be recycling until it became convenient again. On that note, definitely not judging you, haha.


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