Recycling

22 Jun

I’m dubious about how much recycling actually helps the environment. I suspect the process is more about getting people to THINK about the environment, help individuals realize what impact one person can have if they only try to do a little something (or when they don’t), and the alleviation of guilt through an attempt to take responsibility.

I don’t have any statistics about recycling (yet) so I can’t really SAY how much impact it may or may not have in the long run. I can tell you I purchased “The Skeptical Environmentalist” by the controversial Bejorn (or however it’s spelled) Lomborg and am most excited to read it. I’ll have to make that a priority before school commences in the fall.

What I DO know about recycling is that it’s a pain. Sorting it takes a lot of space in my small apartment and in the complex’s tiny trash area. Paying to take it to get recycled as you have to in Northern NV would also be a no-go.  Just ask all the people that don’t even pay to take their TRASH to the dump, instead dumping it in the desert.  When you look at problems like that (and pollution from cars and industry, water getting dirtied, chemical-resistant farming, and 3rd world country completely unethical and unregulated agriculture/industry–well, washing your recyclables seems like a minute, nit-picky first-world crises. Especially, when I’m fairly certain it’s all autoclaved and melted down anyway.

In Seattle, throwing things in the trash is criminal.  Some do-gooder will yell at you if you even think about trying it.  It was actually Seattle’s severe, libertine mentality about recycling that turned me against the practice. For one of my chores throughout my childhood was crunching cans. And though I didn’t really drink soda myself, my parents gave me plenty of cans to keep busy. Also, one of my platforms (OK– my main and only platform) when I ran for student body president of my intermediate school was starting a recycling program–which I successfully implemented and they still use today thank-you-very-much. But the levels–and morals–attached to recycling is ridiculous to me.

I have heard many, many times:

1}  Did you throuw THAT away?! With implication that I’m a shit head because that is recyclable.

2}  I have also heard–“That goes in the other bin.”  Who the eff can tell what bin or what plastic code goes where?  I mean, really, if you want the world to recycle–make it easy.  Or at least make it make SENSE. Make it too difficult and I’m just going to throw it in the trash–no question then.

3} Thirdly, I have heard grumbles about–At LEAST rinse that out!”  As mentioned above, eff you, on that.  It’s not happening.

4}  “You need to SORT your recyclables!”  No cardboard in the cans.  No lids on the glass.  No tape on the brokendown boxes.  Puh-leeze.  Again–make it too hard, and I’m just going to throw the whole damn (dirty) thing, intact, and in the garbage can.

Hate me if you will.  But I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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