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“When in doubt, Throw it out!”

March 5th, 2014 · No Comments · Garbage, Recycling, Trash Disposal

I know you’ve heard that little maxim. And I’m sorry to tell you that yes, “throw it out” means into the Garbage — i.e., not the recycling. And I know that’s painful for you. You WANT everything to be recyclable — but it’s not.

I used to suffer from the same illness — which by the way is completely based on good intentions: I want so bad for a particular item to be recyclable, that I throw it into my curbside bin anyway in the hope that surely they’ll figure it out.

No they won’t.

It’s not a matter of figuring it out. They either have the equipment to recycle that thing or they don’t. The people at the other end are the sorters. I’ve gone to the recycling plants and watched them work. Worst job I can think of. My job at the skeleton factory was nothing compared to this. Stand alongside a conveyor belt all day, pulling off things that can’t be processed by their plant. The darn thing looks like it’s  moving sixty miles an hour. They have to be thinking and moving super fast every minute, making decisions about every piece that travels by, grabbing the bad ones and throwing them aside. Their brains get all wonky from the moving belt traveling past their eyes all day. They have to alternate sides to prevent motion sickness and other weird effects. And what do you suppose they do with all that wrong stuff? They send it to the landfill.

see the workers moving at a frenetic pace to pull out the stuff that didn't belong in the recycling bin.

See the workers moving at a frenetic pace, pulling out the stuff that didn’t belong in the recycling bin.

We don’t need to be making their job any more difficult. 

So, really: IF YOU DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE that they’ll take it, throw it into the regular garbage. This is a better option, and you are hereby absolved of all guilt when doing so. (And more about that later, in future posts about landfills.)

Next post: But wait. It’s got that little recycle symbol right there on the bottom of it. What do you mean they can’t recycle it?

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