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Recycling Mystery

This is a blog - so I can rant - right?

Well here is my recycle rant.

I have always been an avid recycler, carefully separating all the chosen items into their respective bins. Paper with paper and sometimes some cardboard, crushing down soy milk cartons to the smallest possible shape, crushing cans to take up less space and even separating plastics and cans under the belief that this would make it easier for the sorter. Well I guess I was completely wrong! Last week we had delivered to the entire neighborhood some spiffy looking large plastic bins. One for compost, one for trash and one for "all the other stuff." It's the "all the other stuff" category that has me perplexed!

Throwing cans, bottles, other plastics and paper all into the same bin is like sacrilege upon the altar of my fervent belief system. How can this be easier for the sorter at the other end? It goes against all common sense.

The recycle bin also has a notice on the front saying that it is illegal to riffle through and take cans and bottles. I used to HELP the can and bottle rifflers - and believe me there are plenty in this neighborhood - by separating the things with a return on them from the other stuff. Every other Monday night before the recycle truck comes on Tuesday morning, I would hear someone going through the bottles and cans. In my book, if you are that poor - you are absolutely welcome to the scant amount you may get from returning some bags of cans or bottles - in fact I salute your endeavor. Surely these are my cast offs to do with as I please? And if I choose to give them to someone by leaving them outside on the street then surely it is my gift to those in desperate need. Anything that is left over, the City is welcome to pick up and try making money out of it. Why is it "illegal" to do a bit of honest scavenging?

The people who come at night to pick through the cans are not drunks or drug addicts. They are ordinary people who are having a hard time making ends meet - so I'm incensed at the big "illegal" sign.

If by putting all the recyclables together in one pot it encourages more people to recycle, then I guess in the long run it is a better system. But are people going to be put out of work because a new machine is going to take over the sorting? I'm not sure I go along with that part of it.

It is a perplexing new system.

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