Friday, September 02, 2005

Saving the planet

Our city has finally started a curbside recycling program. I found a packet announcing it on my doorstep this week, complete with my first specially-marked recycling bag. I can mix all my recyclables, but they all have to be in these special blue bags.

The brochure enclosed lists three places I can buy these bags for future pickups, for $1.50 apiece.

So, let's see. I can think of two reasons why I might recycle. One is thriftiness. Apparently in addition to my regular garbage fee, I could pay $1.50 for a single, special plastic bag--when I can spend little more for a whole box of bags that size. And all this while my life is clogged with more free plastic bags than I have room to handle. No, don't think so.

Or I could do it out of concern for the planet. Except I'm not sure the damage to the planet inflicted by me making a special trip to buy plastic bags, plus the waste created in making all these plastic bags, would really be outweighed by the things I might have to recycle. (Recycling stuff costs energy too, remember.)

I understand that they need to be readily able to identify the recyclables. I wouldn't mind spending $5 or $10 on some reusable, specially-marked bin to identify them for the garbage men. (The very weak garbage men who couldn't lift my can this week, so I have two weeks' worth of garbage piling up and stinking, about which I'm still rather annoyed, in case you can't tell.)

But until the recycling program actually starts with conserving things, I don't think I'll participate.

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