Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Who's Writing this Garbage?

Seems appropriate that my very first blog post will be a mini-rant, in light of my past rant writing. My topic of choice for today is a disturbing piece of information passed on to me by Rob's colleague (and our temporary houseguest) David.

After being in our kitchen and seeing our City-of-Modesto-approved recycling setup, David informed us that a friend of his had recently asked his garbage collector whether they really do separate out the blue bags and send them away to be recycled. Regrettably, the guy said no.

I'll admit that I was already having doubts as to whether my blue bags--sitting there in the black can with all the regular trash bags--were being appropriately attended to. But, after going out of my way (well, across the street from my regular supermarket) to the slightly scary New Deal grocery store and picking up the official bags, after dutifully checking my plastics for the right number in the triangle and rinsing out all my bottles and cans, after wrestling with the box cutter to subdue various forms of cardboard, I liked to think that my efforts were in fact being rewarded. I was already feeling a slightly elevated level of self-worth at my contribution to the planet's health and my minor curtailment of wasteful habits.

Now, I feel naive for believing City of Modesto propaganda (though they're probably not responsible for the people sorting the garbage). I feel sheepish at being too lazy to take my recyclables down to a depot of some sort to ensure their re-use. And I wonder if I should write a letter to the editor, or propose a shocking exposé of Waste Management. But probably I won't. I was guiltily throwing away my glass and paper before finding out about the blue bags, so I'll probably take the path of least resistance.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sarah, 'tis Cindy, dutifully checking out your blog. Does this mean that the contents of the blue trash cans we use in Riverside aren't going to be recycled either? I'd look into it, but then again, I like the path of least resistance, too.

The Bon said...

Hey, Sarah and Cindy: Hate to tell you this, but yes, the Riverside (and almost all major cities) city dump just throws everything together. Enio and I read an article about this, and it seems that only about 15% (I can't remember the exact no.) of recycled garbage, waste, what-have-you, is recycled properly in the States, because we simply haven't got the recycling plants to handle the capacity of recycling that's now going on. Of course, this is in contrast to Europe, which (who?) is recyling madly, efficiently, and thoroughly properly--I mean, they have no space for wasteful landfills to begin with!
So what's the solution? Keep trying, I guess. Apparently, those little recycling trailers behind supermarkets (like the one behind our Ralph's, Cindy) do actually recycle stuff properly. That's all I know. The Mom

a. fortis said...

How depressing. I should have known.