Photo by Melody

Recycling - Good For The Environment, Bad For My Kitchen

By Lee Anne Stark (threegardenersNovember 15, 2009

They said it would be easy. They said we wouldn't even notice. They said it would become second nature. They lied!

Gardening picture

Remember when garbage was just garbage? Toss it all in a bag and off to the dump with it. I sometimes think of that time as "the good old days." A simpler, easier time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for recycling. We recycle everything. It is a necessity. It is also a pain in the neck. Bins for cardboard, Bins for cans. Bins for glass. Bins for plastic. A bin for compost. Easy enough to write down, next to impossible to manage. I spend more time managing my recyclables than I do any other household chore. My kitcherecycling in kitchenn is a constant shuffle of cans, folded cartons, plastic bottles. Who wants to run out to the garage every 15 minutes when there's two feet of snow on the ground and the temp. is -30F??

My once pristine kitchen...ok, who am I kidding? once semi-tidy kitchen is now a holding ground for various recyclables waiting to make the long trek to the garage. Add 7 curious cats to the mix and the result is less than pretty. Cats knock recyclables to the Imagefloor, dogs pick up from there and shred said recyclables. I've threatened on more than one occasion that I'm going to cut holes in the kitchen floor, with recyclable shaped chutes leading directly to their respective bins in the basement.

The garage isn't much better. Big blue recycling bins line every available space. A couple of laundry baskets have been volunteered to handle the overflow. I USED to be able to actually park my car in there. Not anymore. My car has been relegated to living in the driveway. It's been pushed out by the recycling. The lawnmower is next to go.

I used to be able to make one trip to the dump. Now I have to make 2. One whole trip just for recycling. We've got our garbage reduced to one bag between our two families but there isn't room in the car for that one lonely bag with all of the recycling...there's barely room for me. The lone bag of garbage gets chauffeured all by itself in a second trip.

 Cardboard Plastic Giant bins at the dump

Once I get it all to the dump I have to unload it and empty the bins into their respective containers. Plastic, cans and cardboard. Looks tidy now but wait until February when there's a bitter north wind and the steps up to those giant bins are covered in newly fallen snow over slippery ice.

Alas, no matter how much recycling inconveniences me I know it has to be done. There is no other way. When I moved out here some 17 years ago the drive to the dumps drop-off area was a slippery downhill slope. Now, it is an uphill climb, way uphill. Our dumps days are numbered. We have no idea what we'll do when that day comes.

Sadly, after dutifully dumping my recyclables into their proper places, occasionally waiting in line with other dutiful recyclers, I come back with my lone bag of garbage and discover to my dismay that not everybody feels the same way I do. The photos below are proof of that.

 garbageImage Image
 Garbage in the dump
 Obviously not recyclers

 Sad, sad, sad.

Yes, I scooped those pots :)

The bottom line is that we all need to do our part. No matter how annoying or how much of an inconvenience it might be. We ALL need to, every one of us. Not just half or 80 percent of us but each and every one of us. Our world depends on it.


  About Lee Anne Stark  
Lee Anne StarkI am an avid gardener who shares my gardens with 2 other equally avid gardeners. I garden for fun and relaxation, never paying attention to the rules!! During the long, cold winter months I occupy my time playing with over a hundred house plants, my six cats and two dogs.

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