Monday, December 01, 2008


Tonight, Jennifer and I went to town to recycle our cardboard, magazines, newspapers, plastics, and drop off some clothes at the Goodwill. I realized tonight that recycling should be less stressful and made more mainstream and easier. I know this sounds selfish and lazy, but it's true. If you want to recycle, you have to make the conscious effort and either go to some recycling drop off location (like Jen and I do), or get with your trash company and get on a "recycling plan".

Recycling should be a mandatory and free service for every trash company in the US. The ideal solution would be for me to throw all of my trash (milk cartons, newspapers, beer bottles, pop cans, food scraps, etc..) into a single bin, just like I do today. I would take my trash down to the road once a week (again, just like I do today). The trash company comes and puts it in their truck, and compacts it down just like normal. Once all of the garbage gets back to the company, they run the garbage through some magic machine that gets out all of the aluminum, all of the metal, all of the plastics, papers, iron, copper, leaves, grass clippings, clothes, shoes, wood shavings, glass, , etc... Once all of the different materials have been sorted out, there would only be a handful of actual trash that would ever make it to the landfills.

I know it sounds far fetched, because it really is. However, I feel somebody needs to step up with some ideas to start making baby steps with the garbage that people just pitch. I drive by landfills every now and then and just cringe sometimes. Trash companies should try to start thinking of a way to (somehow) sort out what is recyclable vs. what is trash, rather than just packing it all together and unloading it into the ground. People are lazy by nature; I mean, I know Jennifer and I are. Making recycling an effortless process is key in my opinion.

If a new company came into town claiming they were working to resolve this problem, I would pay 2x more than I do today and make the switch.


James said...

Your supposition that we create a magic machine would negate some of the points in this video, but here it is anyway :)


Just a warning, this is Penn & Teller so there are a lot of f-bombs.

Unknown said...

I agree, but when trash companies start charging an arm and a leg to reycle, then it just turns me off the whole idea.
I would settle for just a recycling center, which you don't need to look too hard, they are everywhere around here.

ed said...

I agree also -- it should be mandatory & be 2nd nature to everyday activities. Recycling began here only because the local landfill was getting full. I don't see garbage being recycled on a broader scale until it's made a law or it's made cost effective to the consumer. That takes a leader with a strong commitment -- any good leaders out there?

When I see (&/or smell) a landfill, I always dream that the garbage will be processed & the land reclaimed one day . . .