Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recycling Gone Amuck

In late 2008 Shreveport joined many other communities in a recycling program.  It couldn't be easier.  We have a blue bin.  We dump paper, magazines, catalogs, plastic, aluminum, and glass in there.  All in the same bin.  A big truck comes by on Monday, dumps the bin, and drives away.  No sorting, no fooling with different bins and boxes and tubs, nothing.  Simple.

Not so in parts of the UK.  In Newcastle, this is what they have to deal with:

The containers include a silver slopbucket for food waste, which is then tipped in to a larger, green outdoor food bin, a pink bag for plastic bottles, a green bag for cardboard, and a white bag for clothing and textiles.

Paper and magazines go in blue bags, garden waste in a wheelie bin with a brown lid, while glass, foil, tins and empty aerosols should go in a blue box, with a grey wheelie bin for non-recyclable waste.

I hope they provide a chart so you can remember not to put your plastic bottles in your blue bag instead of the pink one.

Not only that, but then one must worry about the Bin Police who can fine you for overfilled bins, bins incorrectly filled, or bins put out at the wrong time.  There are also instructions on how to fold a cardboard box so that it fits into the green bag, and on how to insert a plastic liner in your silver slop bucket.

I wonder if they see the irony in this.  All these bins and bags can't be good for the environment, not to mention the extra trucks and crews (and fuel) to pick them all up, and now it seems people are burning their trash in order to avoid recycling which is releasing toxins into the environment.

Isn't there a point where we micro-manage people's lives so much in the name of doing good that we do more harm?  All these global warming and green people seem to be exacerbating the problem by trying to tell everyone how to fix it.  It's like those horrendous curly light bulbs that don't work as well as incandescent bulbs, and don't light a room as well.  They contain mercury and should not just be chunked into your garbage can or it could release mercury into your landfill.  Crikey!

Tomorrow when I pull my one blue bin to the street, I'm going to thank Mayor Cedric Glover for adopting a simple system.

1 comment:

david7134 said...

Has anyone ever asked if this really does any good? It reminds me of the metal drives during WWII. They collected all kinds of pots and pans and all the time knew that there was nothing they could do with the metal. So they just junked it. I suspect that this effort is much the same.