Going Green

The main event in my life this week was signing up for a new recycling service. Yes, you heard me right – recycling — which shows how dull my life is if trash excites me. What can I say?

My current trash service collects everything. You put it in a plastic bag and they take it away to a landfill. As long as it is in a plastic bag, they will take it.

Since I’ve been cleaning my attic, though, I have far too much trash for the regular collectors. Most of it is stuff that is too large to fit into a trash bag. So, we have been hauling it to a central collection center that recycles. Before I discovered them, I never knew what to do with large household items that became useless.

Problem is few places take things like e-trash. Electronic trash consists of things like computers, TV’s, and cell phones. Some of it has components that can be reused. Some of it contains hazardous materials like lead and mercury. It must be separated and recycled accordingly.

I was online looking for a place that recycles computers when I stumbled across the All in One Recycling service. I didn’t even know such a service existed, at least not in my community. I could not believe what I was reading. I could recycle paper, cardboard, plastic, metal cans, and glass, and they would come and get it curbside. I didn’t have to divide it and haul it to the convenience center.

There was a charge for the service, but it still appealed to me. Most people want to recycle given a convenient opportunity. People are becoming more aware of the importance of saving resources and recycling and reusing materials whenever possible.

It is easy to recycle aluminum cans. I just keep a bag in the garage and throw my empties into it. But the idea of saving junk mail, cereal boxes, milk jugs, plastic bottles, tin cans, and glass bottles in separate containers and hauling it off every week just seemed overwhelming. I have too many other things to do to spend half my life sorting trash.

Being able to combine all the recyclables would greatly simplify the process. I could do my small bit for the environment and feel better about all the trash we seem to generate. So, when I found the online form, I signed up, excited to be trying something new. I committed for one year as that should be a good test of whether or not I’m able to stay faithful.

The service will supply a large trash container and I will supply the contents. I immediately began saving cans and cardboard, impatiently waiting for my plastic recycling bin to be delivered. Finally, I came home one day and it was sitting on the curb.

“Where will we keep it?” asked Honey, always the practical one.

I wanted to keep it in the garage where it would be handy, but I don’t have room, so I decided to keep it outside with the other trash cans. I hope my regular trash people do not think it is regular trash and haul it away.

I wondered how they separate the different kinds of trash as I’m sure they have to do this to recycle it. I looked it up and found out about the large machines that blow the lighter paper and cardboard to the top and let the glass and metal go to the bottom where strong magnets pick out the metal. It sounds complicated; however, it is certainly better than trying to separate it myself.

And so, I’ve gone green. It feels great to be doing what I knew I should have been doing all along. And did I mention that I did find a place that collects computers? We are making a trip there this weekend with a carload of dead electronics.

As I said, it takes so little to excite me.

Copyright 2014 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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6 Responses to Going Green

  1. Our municipal trash pickup also does the all in one recycling. Locally we can take electrics things to Staples or Best Buy for recycling. We always have a lot of carboard. Way more than fits in any container (think Chewy and Amazon boxes). We found a place where we can take a carload of boxes without breaking them down about 10 minutes from our house (and without charge). That is bliss (we are so easy to make happy). Prior to that my husband had to break them down and put twine around them. So much less work.

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  2. I wish we had Recycling Bins here. We totally need them with all the stuff people in the neighborhood throw away.

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    • Sheila Moss says:

      It is that way most places. I have become so used to recycling that it seems strange when I go on vacation or something and they do not recycle. Our local landfill will soon be full, so it will become an urgent issue then.

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