Monday, January 3, 2011

Who picks up after recycling?

The problem with government programs is that they sound like a good idea, but they lack complete people buy-in.
I offer recycling as an example. Where I live, recycling is responsible for most of the littering. The garbage company, which through a deal cut by the township board is a single carrier, has a rule that all recyclables must be put out in open bins so that it can be visually identified as recyclables. Anything in a plastic bag is tossed in with the regular garbage.
This works pretty well, except when pickup day is windy. On those days plastic and paper from the open bins blows all over the neighborhood. This litter, which often ends up in undeveloped woodlands, stays there forever. No one picks it up because although many people believe in recycling, none will take the trouble to correct its flaws.
So we have recycling, and because of it we also have the blight of litter.
No one, of course, comments on the irony of this because recycling is politically correct. Also, no one organizes a campaign to pick up the litter or does so on an individual basis.
So which is worse, plastic in landfills or plastic in previously unspoiled woodlands?
Both are bad.
I guess I just talked myself into taking a garbage bag and picking up litter — one vote for clean recycling.


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