An Ode to Recycling

Once upon a time, a long time ago, we recycled.  It started with soda cans, then cardboard, then glass, and then one day we were recycling all our trash.  That’s right, allour trash.  For months, our city-issued trash bin stood silent, waiting for someone to deposit waste.  Pretty cool, huh?

The key to successful recycling is having a place to sort and store items.  We had a closet in our kitchen where we sorted and stored trash.  The closet had several shelves that could hold large plastic bins.  Each bin was devoted to a type of recycled item.  That closet was my pride and joy.  I loved showing it off.  Friends and family appropriately ooed and ahhed over our efforts.

Another secret to our success was a local entrepreneur who collected items twice a month.  In the beginning, it seemed like he took everything.  I began purchasing only those items whose packaging or containers could be recycled.  The more he took, the more I recycled.  I envisioned his facility as a Utopia where my trash became recycled treasure, a place where our glass, aluminum, and plastic were destined to become bright and shiny new things.  In reality, he was probably tossing a lot of stuff that we “recycled.” But even if he only had to send 25% of our trash to the landfill, we were successful.

But then we moved.  And there wasn’t a closet devoted to my recycling bins.  Recycling was no longer fun.  It required effort.  And then one day, in frustration, I threw a soda can into the trash.  A few days later, I pitched an orange juice jug.  My family were silently shocked.  My friends were unsure of what to do as they had received merciless training in our recycling program.  Suddenly they began taking cautious steps towards our trash can and walking away with puzzled looks — that I ignored.  Every week, when trash day arrived, I promised myself, “We’ll start recycling again.”

He cooks and he builds!
My beloved has built a lovely new recycling center
that will be incorporated into our kitchen island.

That day has finally arrived!  My beloved has built a lovely recycling center that will eventually fit under our kitchen island.  He was inspired by plans found in The Family Handyman: Get Organized!  The magazine boasted 155 DIY Projects to cut the clutter.  I am convinced that it was published just for us.  The center holds four 13 gallon trash cans that we can slide out and take to the city collection area.  Frankly, I think it’s perfect.

To make sure we re-establish our successful recycling habits, we’re starting with four bins.  There will be one for each type of recyclable our fair city receives at its community collection site.  Will we achieve zero trash again?  My eco-friendly heart hopes so, but until then our new sorting center will help me sleep better at night.

For more information on recycling efforts by the City of Murray click this link.  Also, the next Make a Difference Day is March 17, 2012.


2 thoughts on “An Ode to Recycling

  1. You're more than welcome to come check it out or borrow the plans. As a bystander, it appeared to be easy to build. A few pieces of 1×2's and a few dowel rods, easy peasy. It was finished in a couple of nights, including staining. My darling beloved is adapting the plan to build a sorting station for my laundry baskets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s