The Blue and the Green and the Gray

Okay.  This just bugs me.  I was just typing this long post about how inordinately happy I was about something, and the side of my hand banged against something on the keyboard and this screen disappeared and suddenly there was some news site instead.  All my typing – GONE.


Well, I can hear Julia starting to wake up, so I’ll have to condense this now.  DAMN IT ALL!  I hate when that happens. 

Okay.  So anyway.  This week the lucky people of my town were given brand new shiny and clean trash and recycle cans.  BIG ONES.  Not the little rectangle recycle bins we had prior to this.  NO.  Each recycle can (one blue, one green) holds something like 65 gallons, and the gray trash can is EVEN BIGGER.

One trash can per household, though if there are more than 6 people in your family, you can get another one, I think.

Anyway, they are trying to encourage more recycling, which is why only one trash can.  And they won’t take stuff in additional garbage bags lying on the ground beside the gray can.  NO.  Every bit of garbage must be contained in the trash can with the lid CLOSED.  They’ve done some sort of research and if you are recycling properly, all your garbage (even in a house with two kids in diapers) should fit.

I am so excited.  I know.  I need to get out more.

But you don’t realize what this means to me.  And so I will tell you.

Before this, all our paper recyclables went under one of my work bench/table things in the kitchen.  It always looked grubby, even if everything was tidily tucked into paper grocery bags or one of the empty diaper boxes that we always seem to have kicking around.  Plus, Julia currently likes to pull out the newspapers and surround herself with all the sections she didn’t get to read during the week.  It’s very cute but still – I have to pick the papers back up several times a week and I could be doing other things.

So now – all the papers can go right OUTSIDE and into the green can because it has a LID and the stuff won’t get wet.  YA. HOO.

So now I can use that space for something ELSE.  Have no idea what, but it’s terribly thrilling all the same.

And ALSO, the bottles and cans and stuff can go directly out into the blue container instead of into the smaller, lidded trash can we’ve kept by the back door – emptying it into the blue bin when it was full.  No.  That trash can can go bye byes.  Or can be cleaned out and used for something else.  But it won’t be something interesting to Julia any more because she can sense when something is "YUCKY!" and beelines straight for it every time she isn’t reading newspapers.

Also – because the old bins are relatively small and not lidded, most of the shredded paper ended up in the garbage.  I’m not proud of this, but it was either that or it would blow down the street like parade debris, and I don’t think THAT would be all that good for the environment OR for our relationships with the neighbors, either.

SO.  I’m all wound up about this.  I’ve already started filling the green recycle bin.  And next I plan to set up some sort of little can under the sink, probably, for stuff for the compost heap.  MORE stuff that won’t go in the garbage.  Actually, we compost anyway.  But these shiny new plastic can things have lit some sort of Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/And Don’t Forget To Compost fire in me and I see this all as a big, fun CHALLENGE.

Bill is already annoyed that there’s only one trash can and what do you do if you were planning to clean out the garage and you KNOW you’ll have more garbage than will fit in one can.  I told him to call the mayor.  And to just give it a try first anyway.  Jeez…all this time I thought HE was the positive-thinking person in the family and I was the voice of gloom and doom!  Apparently I was mistaken!

So anyway, Julia’s definitely awake and growing tired of hanging out in her crib with no newspapers to read.  So I’ll go now.  Maybe there’s something in the kids’ room that I can toss into one of the recycle bins! 

I have this terrible urge to go through the house shredding every scrap of paper that doesn’t have a really, really good reason for staying here.

I need to restrain myself just a little bit, I think, so I don’t burn out from my feverish zeal.

6 thoughts on “The Blue and the Green and the Gray

  1. Ahh, my kindred spirit… I accompanied my class on a field trip Friday to the Johnston Landfill and Recycling Center. I was so ASHAMED with my wasteful ways that I went to Walmart and got bins to recycle with. (In SK, we must dump our own garbage and bring our recycling to the transfer station. If we want official bins with a logo, we must pay for them. Suffice it to say, I have logo envy.) I have been zealously recycling all weekend now. Also, I have started composting again, as we will have a garden this year- yahoo! I will think of you whilst peeling paper off/rinsing tin cans and gleefully composting egg shells and coffee grrounds!!!

  2. Beth, that very day, I went through the trash can beside my computer desk and took out everything that could be shredded, shredded it, and put that into a brown paper bag with other recyclable paper and once the bag is full, into my big green lidded container it will go. I also bought a second salad-spinner at Job Lot to use as a temporary compost bucket (kind of like the yellow bowl that used to be at the Halls’ house…)- and wrote “compost” on it with a sharpie marker so no helpful houseguest will clean lettuce in it. It sits on top of the fridge – far from tiny children – right next to the bowl for bread crusts that go out to the birds. I feel so virtuous….

  3. HEY!! I wrote on MY compost bucket “COMPOST” with a sharpie, too!! (And, yes, I did think of Mary B. offering Mere a “snack” from the yellow compost bowl on their counter!!) I also wrote on my other bins exactly WHAT should/could go in each, so the kids have no question. Virtuous, virtuous…

  4. Okay, Beth, ready for this?

    We can only put out one recycle bin each week – the town gave us all calendars – next week we start with the blue (bottles and glass)bin, and the following week is the green (cardboard and paper) bin. I posted the calendar on the inside of the cupboard next to the fridge for easy reference, AND – I typed up a list of what can go in each bin – in the color of that bin. And posted the lists above the calendar. My kids are too small to even reach the bins at this point, so the list is for Bill and me. But still. I color-coded my lists. And the part that makes this really pathetic is that Bill is semi color blind, so both lists will look some shade of gray to him anyway. I did the color coding all for my own virtuous and geeky self.

    Top that! 🙂

    And were you at the dress fitting the day that Mary B gave Mere that yellow bowl as a wedding gift? She still has it, I think. Mere?

  5. Whoa. I bow to you. You are the queen of all recycling. Maybe someday we can go on a tour of the landfill. I will be sure to pack us a lunch in reusable containers, made of produce grown from our composted gardens. Of course, we will have hairy armpits and legs, cause we don’t want to waste water with activities like that. Are you MAD????? And yes, I remember that gift. So touching. (sniff, sniff)

  6. Yes, Beth, I’m mad. MAD MAD MAD!!! And lunch sounds good, as long as we walk there – I’m trying not to pollute the environment with my evil car too much…. 🙂

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