Friday, July 25, 2008

Why is it so hard to recycle?

I mean hard. Like, it makes me tired to recycle. When we do go ahead and just throw things out, more often than not the item will end up in the recycling bin. Mission has a good contract, so there's no separating and they take everything. Well, not glass anymore, but we keep that and take it in when it's overflowing. So, every week I take out a nice big, professional Rubbermaid bin with 1-2 small trash bags in it. And, lug a lame, low recycling bin that is always totally overflowing with products. Usually, some is left in my yard when the truck leaves, and I have to put it back for next time. I called the trash company (who provides these silly recycling bins) and they have nothing bigger, even for purchase. I go to a variety of hardware stores, and they have... nothing. Maybe a tiny sorting bin set good for old women and their cat food tins. Big wheelie bins exist, but only on the internet. I have yet to find anyone who carries them anywhere in town. Not to mention they are like $100. My real point is this: everyone has these PR campaigns for being greener, but hardly any of them do anything I care about (much less, often, anything that really helps). Google around and you'll find Lowe's has some vague initiative to buy more sustainable woods, Home Depot gives away compact fluorescents, but how about simple, steps? How about concrete, specific things I can go into one of their stores and see with my own eyes any time I want to? How about carrying useful recycling bins, instead of just trash cans?


John Bossert said...

I'm not sure how this is relevant, but. . .

In St. Louis County, everyone uses the county provided trash service. You gotta. And everyone, recently, was told they HAD to recycle. They're all being charged some additional amount each month for the service (whether they want it or not, or plan to use it or not). And everyone was given recycling containers. You don't want to recycle? That's fine. You're charged anyway.

My problem with that? No incentive to recycle. You're already being charged whether you do it or not, which pisses a whole bunch of people off and (I predict) makes them NOT recycle out of spite. And the others who WILL recycle get nothing for their efforts. . . but a higher bill.

shoobe01 said...

I have no experience with the pay-for-trash system. Sure, sure, "someone always pays," but I don't write a check.

Also, I live in a good city. Everyone else, we hear, has increasingly awful pickup. Like, limits on how much they will take now. Ours, no limits, monthly heavy trash, no separation of recyclables, no separate compostables can, etc.

Anway, I have heard plenty about similar systems. As I understand it, and I might be misunderstanding, economic incentive is a reason for some trashcans now having RFID (in the UK mostly).

One bin is trash, one is recycling. The truck automatically picks them up to dump. It weighs on the way, notes the can code and bills you accordingly. Recycling is at a lower rate, or free, compared to trash.

Yes, you could cheat this. Like self-checkout, there will be measures to reduce this, like people open the top of the can, and tend to note if the wrong products are in. Several systems to help with it. Putting your trash in the neighbors? Well, the neighbor has an incentive to keep the can under positive control, doesn't he?

Yup. Your system is typical of poorly thought out subcontracting. Maybe it'll fail badly enough they will fix it, but more likely it will fail badly enough they will just double the bill next month.