Let me start off today’s “musing” with the following statement: I am GREEN. I do not waste food. I trained my parents to recycle. I even compost. I’m an animal lover, a tree hugger, and I even pick up other people’s trash.
But there is one thing that I cannot get to happen: I cannot get the recycling truck to pick up my blue bin of cans and plastics.
For years, I’ve been working on this relationship with the recycling men. I don’t know what I did to upset them. I suspect it started to go south when someone lost the lid to our recycling trash can. It rained one night…probably two nights…and the can was filled with water. The recycling people refused to take it. The only problem was that they did not tell me why. So I thought that we were on the every two week schedule and left the can on the curbside.
The next week, ditto.
It took about three weeks for us to figure out what the problem was. The floating cans gave us the first clue. We drilled a hole in the can, drained it, and VOILA! Problem solved.
Not so fast.
Apparently, something else was wrong with the bin and a big, rectangular orange sticker was slapped on the side. However, it rained again and the writing smeared so I couldn’t read why they weren’t taking the garbage.
My husband and I had a serious discussion about this. We decided that they didn’t like the can because it wasn’t square, blue, and with that cool RECYCLE sign on it. We agreed that we’d start fresh and get a brand new blue recyclable bin for the men. A peace offering.
The following week, things seemed to go well. Blue bin at the curb, lid shut, cans and plastic neatly sorted and waiting removal. My husband and I heard the truck coming and jumped out of bed, standing by the window and watched. We both held our breath, waiting to see what would happen. Would they take it? Did we finally get it right?
The answer was a big resounding NO. Apparently, someone in my household decided to toss a plastic bag on top of the blue bin. Once again, the recycling truck simply by-passed our house. It took another week for our recyclables to finally get removed.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we comply (or, at least, think we comply) with the laws, we must still be doing something wrong: The housekeeper put the recyclables in a plastic garbage bag, a guest put some newspaper in the bin by accident, and (the ultimate kiss of death) a cardboard box was not flattened after Christmas.
By now, we were having family sit down meetings about the recycling. Everyone knew the rules and that this was serious business. If we, as a family, wanted to contribute to the Save-The-Earth philosophy, no one could mess around with the power of the recycling truck: no plastic bags, no water, no slip of paper, and NO CARDBOARD within ten feet of that blue container.
It wasn’t that easy, though.
I began to suspect that no matter what we did, we were being ignored. I tested this theory by putting our blue bin with our next door neighbor’s one day. Sure enough, our bin was emptied. My conspiracy theory was beginning to formulate. The recycling truck must be the Santa Claus of Garbage with a naughty or nice list. We, unfortunately, must have made the naughty list while our next-door neighbor made the nice list. Interesting, I thought, and waited for the next week to test the theory again. Same results.
That seemed to solve our problem for a while.
And then I wound up in the hospital with cancer complications. For some reason, we didn’t have recycling. I don’t know why…maybe because I wasn’t home and everyone ate out a lot. We seemed to make peace with the recycling truck. When I came home, things seemed to be going well. I don’t know if they realized that, for six weeks, we didn’t put out that blue bin or if they knew about the cancer, but our recycling woes seemed to end. Either we got it right or they forgave us…or both!
Until last month.
I don’t know what our latest crime is, but, once again, our blue recyclable bin has been rejected…not once but twice in a row. The only consolation is that I noticed one of other neighbors must have made the blacklist because their bin is also being left untouched on a regular basis.
I think this week I shall leave the bin out with a big bow on it and a note, begging forgiveness for whatever we have done to offend them. Maybe I’ll put some steaming coffee out there with homemade muffins or cookies. Something…anything…just tell me what I’m doing wrong and, for the love of the earth, please take my recyclables!