|Saw this a few summers back here in
College Station. This isn't a recycling bin.
I admit to grumbling a bit about the time and expense associated with setting up our recycling station, and when the garage became a sauna in the summer or an icebox in the winter, I definitely complained about spending my Tuesday nights and/or Wednesday mornings tying up bags, flatting cardboard, and making multiple trips to the curb. But as time went on I began to forget how easy recycling had been back in Ann Arbor, where absolutely every single recyclable item - with the exception of #5 plastics - went into one large bin.
And then the exciting news… After a successful single-stream recycling trial last summer, College Station would implement single-stream recycling - a system similar to what we had in Ann Arbor and what my hometown has had for more than a decade - in January. As in this month. As in this week. On Monday morning a brand new, shiny blue bin full of recyclables sat at our curb, next to our half-full garbage bin, waiting for its big moment. **
A friend of mine once asked me about recycling, about why we participated when it took so much more effort than simply tossing the recyclables into the trash can. I asked her, politely but sincerely, about why she didn't participate. Yes, recycling costs money and takes time. But it conserves resources, saves energy, helps protect the environment, reduces the amount of garbage sent to landfills, and saves money in the end because 1) selling recycled materials can offset the cost of recycling, and 2) the environmental benefits listed above have economic value. Simply put, if we don't take care of our planet, it won't be here for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.
My hope is that this new system will lead to both an increase in and a shift in attitude toward recycling in our community. A greener Texas awaits!
* TAMU has done an amazing job overhauling their recycling program since I wrote the post linked to above. Such an amazing job, in fact, that Tom says that finding a trash can now is as difficult as finding a recycling bin was five years ago.
** When I wrote this post on Sunday night I had high hopes for Monday's recycling pick-up. As I edited the post to include this note on Tuesday morning, I felt more than a little defeated. Though the recycling truck made its way through our neighborhood, it SKIPPED MY HOUSE. The truck picked up at other houses on my street, but left my bin - and a couple of others - completely untouched. (And I followed all of the rules about where to put the bin, when to have it out, etc.) Argh.