Monday, September 15, 2008


This sort of thing really really frustrates me. Lovebug and I were enjoying ourselves on a walk Friday, which is also trash/recycling day around here, and we ran across such wastefulness that I had to take shots of it.

Can you believe this?

And this?

AND THIS!!!!!!!!!?

I wanted to walk up to these houses and say - WHY do you have so much trash??? WHY aren't you recycling (more or at all)???? WHY aren't you giving away things to charities??? WHY are you being so wasteful???? SO much of the above could be recycled, especially ALL those boxes!!! SO much could be composted and used in their garden/yard! And SO much could be given away to a charity for someone in need!!!

People are just so very wasteful though and don't seem to care, although to be fair, I'm sure some people are just uninformed or ignorant to their choices. We have a friend who used to live up North and he said they were charged for every trash bag they had, but recycling was free, so this motivated people to have as little trash as possible. Isn't that wonderful???!! Is that true for where you live? Gosh I wish that was in effect here, but I've never heard of that anywhere around us. It really makes me want to get involved somehow in my area to help things like that happen!

I would say that the vast majority of people around us don't even recycle and these pictures are really not unusual, which is so sad. What's crazy is that the recycling containers are free from our city (some cities you have to pay I've heard) and you can go to the city and get as MANY as you want (we have 4!) and recycling is SO easy - I mean REALLY, how much extra effort does it take? Plus, we're very fortunate that our area recycles pretty much everything and there's very little that they don't accept, so it's hard for me to undertand why everyone doesn't do it.

There are even local charities that leave notes on our door saying they need this and that and tell us what day to leave the stuff on our porch, and then THEY come and pick it up...SO easy!! But people constantly throw things out that could be used by someone else in need! How you ever been to a landfill? GO!!! It will really open up your eyes to the ridiculous levels of wastefulness in our country!

We reuse, compost, and recycle everything as much as possible, give away to local charities everything that we think could possibly be re-used or enjoyed by someone else, and then what's leftover is SO minute that we don't even put trash out every week. It's normally every other week and then only 1/2 a trash bag full with a couple of recycling containers. BUT most of the people around us put out trash TWICE a week and have at least a couple of bags every time and mostly no recycling. Arrrgghhhh!!

Of course, what is really important is precycling and only buying what you truly need or want and not overbuying! That's where it all starts...People just accumulate way too much stuff and don't put alot of thought into their purchases. Anyway, I wanted to share and see if this was the norm where you live (gosh, I hope not!). I'm thinking I might do a couple posts on recycling (and composting) in the upcoming weeks to share some different things we've learned over the years.

Hope everyone had a great weekend (we did!) and try to have a beautiful (not wasteful:) Monday!


Juneau.Eco.Mommie said...

sad to say, so many people are just too lazy to separate their paper from their plastic. but as they say little hands can make a big difference...let's train our kiddies well :)

Amy said...

I read an article recently about living on the San Juan islands- everyone is responsible for removing their own trash, and is hence mindful of waste- how I wish I could convince my neighbors! It makes me really Nutty when I go running on trash day and see recyclables in the garbage - everyone in our city has a mixed recyclable container, too - so there's no excuse other than they don't know or they don't care. Frustrating. I heard a great field trip idea to take kids to the dump to create some awareness of "where it all goes" - kind of like cultivating awareness of where our food comes from...I cannot think of any other solution but to live as thriftly as possible with the hope that my neighbors will notice...I have one who saves all his yard clippings for me to compost and another who gives me free reign to sort through his trash to recycle stuff (they tolerate me, those kind souls), educate our little ones, and support efforts to make the three r's easy...oh man, I'm on a roll. You got me going, sister...

Angela Harris said...

We took that field trip when we were in middle school to the dump and our city actually rips open bags and has been pull recyclables from a moving belt. I think this gives alot of people the impression other people are recycling for you. You don't have to b/c someone will go through your trash. I wonder how it really works in the majority of cities. I don't actually know how mine works and my husband has told me that he was under the impression there are people who go through our trash a recycle. Makes me wonder but I have to say I don't recycle either. I think it's the unknown but to be fair I haven't gone out there to look for the info. I will read your posts though & maybe get our family involved. Thanks :)

Hannah said...

i feel your pain. our townhouse community has only ONE recycling dumpster. ONE. and about 15 trash dumpsters. i can't tell you how many cardboard boxes we see in them. it's infuriating. i think we're going to start a petition.

Thimbleina said...

They would not take that away in the bin lorries here if it wasn't in a bin and we only have one wheelie bin and the lid has to be closed. We have normal waste collection every other week and the other weeks in between is recycling and we have a bin in the Summer months that is collected every other week for things like grass clippings. Nobody would be allowed to have that many bags and boxes strewn about.

Claire, said...

We can't put trash like THAT out on trash day around here, geesh, can't they at least collapse those boxes?