Recycling Fail

I try to be one a good environmentalist. I use those little curly florescent light bulbs on every fixture of my house that fits them. I rarely use outdoor lighting except for a few minutes when someone is actually outside my house at night. I have a timer style thermostat which adjusts my heating and cooling needs according to time of day. I try to limit those little energy vampires such as phone chargers, by unplugging them when not in use. All but one of my home appliances are energy star rated, and that appliance, the least used in the house, is slated for replacement as soon as I can afford it. I also drive a small car that get pretty good mileage. To top it off, I recycle, paper, glass and plastic. I have written before on things that we can do to care for our planet a little better, including topics on recycling. I think it is important that we do what we can, even if it is only a little bit to try to leave the world a better place then how we found it, on every level we can.

Yes, I should be quite proud of myself, “little Ms. Environmentalist.” However I have a problem with the paragon of earth-mother goodness I just placed on myself. It is what is currently residing in my youngest daughter’s Bravada. You see. I have been slack on that whole recycling thing over the past few months. Partially it was because I had replaced my old Dodge Intrepid with the trunk large enough to put a couple of dead bodies AND their luggage for a much smaller yet healthier ’03 Neon. The Intrepid had been a great car, but somewhere along they way it had developed a smoking habit. By the time I replaced it, I suspect the smoke belching from the Intrepid’s back end was mostly responsible for any reductions of air quality in Spartanburg County.

However that Intrepid could almost haul as much as a pick-up truck. I once transported nearly every instrument for the church youth band in the trunk of that car. So hauling my recycling bins, plus a few extra bags was no problem for that car. Purchasing the Neon, while much better for the local environment had the drawback of a much smaller trunk. The back seats are not all that spacious either.

That is only one of my excuses for my recycling dilemma. The second is that between work and school, I had little free time to make side trips to the drop of sites. When I was free, it was either raining, or the center was closed. So, I’d keep bagging things up, and setting it out in the shed in my back yard.

For a couple weeks, when it was apparent that I was not going to be able to make a trip anytime soon, I decided just to throw everything away I gathered up away. I also decided that what was currently in the shed would stay there until I could get to it or Spring, which ever came first. Throwing away perfectly recyclable materials lasted a whole three weeks. I just couldn’t live with the guilt. I’ve been recycling for over 10 years and that was a habit just not worth breaking, even if finishing the final task of delivering the bags items was yet incomplete. So I just kept sorting and bagging and setting everything into the shed in hopes an opportune time would arise.

Finally one did. Megan and I both had a free afternoon today. Needing to run errands near the drop off point on Asheville highway, we loaded everything up leaving just enough space for Megan, her boyfriend Alan and myself. All the rest of the space was filled with recyclable items. Remember she drives an older Dodge Bravada. It is small SUV with plenty of space. Most of that space was filled with recyclables leaving just enough room for humans. I did mention that I hadn’t hauled things off for awile right?

We get there, and the gates are closed. Closed? What? “This is January 3rd, after the holidays, why are they closed?”I am wondering.

Meanwhile Megan is giving me the evil eye through the rear view mirror. Apparently some county offices used Monday for their New Year’s holiday for employees. We just didn’t know that little fact. We finished our errands then returned home. I had a personal errand I had to run for my school. When I was done, I called Megan. Someone had suggested our trying a non-public drop off point and suggested that idea to her, but Megan was leery of using a non-public facility. With her being a criminal justice major, she didn’t want to take a chance of getting into trouble.

So the recyclables are still in her car giving off sour milk fumes, as she will have to wait till tomorrow to finally get rid of the stuff. Once everything is gone, I will try to keep the piles of recyclables to a manageable level, or at least to just a couple of bags I can dispose of easily, in a small car. Then maybe I can regain my “little Ms. Environmentalist” status.

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