Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recycling or Rubbish

I’m trying to do my part, you know, save the world, and I’m doing it one plastic container and cardboard pizza box at a time. I’m not digging water wells in Mali or building houses in New Orleans, or rescuing abused circus elephants. I’m recycling vitamin bottles and tuna cans.

My kitchen now looks like a bag lady’s den. I haven’t found a less cluttered way to hang the various bags (plastic, paper, cardboard) on the chairs. We don’t have the room, or the bins. My boyfriend thinks I’m obsessed (read: nuts) for recycling practically everything short of used tissues. When I started recycling my junk mail envelopes (mixed paper) or any envelope for that matter, he almost opened a can of whoop ass on me.

I can’t stop myself. I look at everything as a potential recycling opportunity. I’m trying to save the planet, dammit. Now the bags have started to overflow into the garage. I find it therapeutic to break down boxes, no matter the size. I like the small toothpaste packaging, as much as the box the case of wine comes in.

My boyfriend has now, after a year, joined me in my obsession (read: nuttiness) I’m in charge of bringing the recycling that my neighborhood does not pick up, to the local recycling center. I even had to get a sticker for my car, because they don’t want just anyone throwing their crap in their bins. They’ve got rules!

And then, last week, in the middle of my dumping, as I looked out over the ginormous containers filled with smaller filthy containers, I wondered where the recycling goes. And IF it all goes. Is there really such a thing as recycling to begin with? Wasn’t there a 60 Minutes story on the recycling scam several years ago? Is this just an exercise in futility? I don’t think I know enough about where my cardboard paper towel roll and plastic prune containers are going.

Next stop, Google.

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