Tomorrow is Earth Day, which as I sit here poised at my computer, made me look around the room and think about how much we are trying to do here in our little piece of the world. I have to admit that some days I am more diligent than others, though I still wonder why some of my neighbours aren’t getting with it. We’ve had a blue box program in this city since 1986, and I remember the excitement when we heard our neighbourhood had been included in a pilot program for curbside recycling, although we had already been recycling anything we could my entire life. Clothing was passed along to siblings and around the family, furniture got passed around, canning and pickling jars shared. There was a lot of recycling going on.
Nowadays we take out as many recycling bags as rubbish bags, although I am still stunned at how much we really take out, as well as how much accumulates at our dumpster bins. Our neighbours could use some lessons in recycling, although we are fortunate to have a couple of local characters who regularly sift through the bins and remove anything they can take to the bottle depot for a refund. They seem to be getting a lot of loot, and one or the other is rooting around every day.
I shake my head over it all, really. I don’t understand why in a pretty average neighbourhood there is such disregard for something we have control over – whether to influence the amount of crap going in the landfill, or not.
My granddaughter will turn three next week. She is going to be a good example for her friends, if her current practice has anything to do with it. She understands that milk jugs, water bottles, and pop cans go in one bin, that other recycling (paper, cardboard, cans, plastics) go in another, and that rubbish goes in the third. She comes from a dedicated line of gardeners and composters too, so if she ever has her own place with a patch of garden, that’s a possibility too. I have a lot of faith in her generation about this, probably the same or even a little more than my own grandparents expected of me. It’s not hard, it just takes a bit of attention.
Speaking of attention, I am reminded about how they handle the garbage and recycling issues in Halifax. If you don’t sort things properly, they put a huge orange neon sticker on your bags that might as well say, “Idiot who cannot sort their rubbish lives here.” As anticipated, I did not get this sticker twice. I got super focussed about sorting my loot. Or is that rubbish?