Today is garbage day here at Coffee and Controversy. Both garbage and recycling pick up on Fridays and as I look out my window, I see two recycle cans and seven garbage cans. There are eight houses in this circle and two that appear to use their recycle cans at all. Interestingly, those two houses probably put trash out only about every other week. This week mine is out and my neighbors is not, but as I said before, we're once again the only two people with our recycle cans out.
I remember when I was a kid we had to request a curbside bin and pay for pick-up. It was tiny and they only picked up every other week. Now my recycle can is the same size as my garbage can, it picks up every week, it's included in my waste utility bill and they'll take almost anything. Really, there's no guess work on plastic - they take every number, one through seven. The only thing I can't recycle curbside is glass. So with how easy it is, are there really 6 houses in my tiny circle that don't recycle at all? I mean, okay, don't be the zealot I am about it, saving every paper gum-wrapper for when I get home so I can put it in the recycling. But you can't toss in your milk jugs, egg cartons, 2 liter bottles, cereal boxes, newspapers... These are kind of no-brainers people! According to EPA statistics, nearly 14% of landfill waste is recyclable newspaper. And they further estimate that nearly one third of household waste is paper. Wow. That is a lot of paper unnecessarily going into our landfills. Is it laziness? Is it obliviousness? Is it willful rejection of any green habits? I'd really like to know. Because the 2 out of 8 scenario really amazes me.