Archive for Srpen 1st, 2011

Recycling, McGill, Movies I’m Not Seeing

Recycling, McGill, Movies I’m Not Seeing

Anything we don’t want to own anymore, and can’t get somebody else to pay for or accept as a gift, is garbage.

But these days, you can’t just figure “garbage is garbage” and put it in the trash cans or take it to the dump.

“Yard waste” will be picked up if you put it in clear plastic bags, or in your own 32-gallon trash can, or if you tie it with string (like branches) into bundles no more than 5 feet long and no heavier than 50 pounds.

Also, in the fall you can pile leaves at the curb, and after Christmas you can leave your tree to be picked up at the curb.

But “yard waste” does not include dirt and rocks. So what do you do with uprooted weeds? Wash them?

And you can’t put “yard waste” in the regular garbage cans. But what about cut flowers from vases? They never grew in your yard – can you throw them away in the regular trash? Or do you have to bag them with the yard waste?

The rules can be pretty arcane – but no matter who puts stuff in your trash cans, violations are the responsibility of the homeowner.

We’ve had to institute a complete ban on anybody else putting stuff in our brown recycling can, because nobody else seems to know the rules.

Not that we were always wise about them – and they’ve changed over time.

For instance, it used to be that you followed the number in the triangle on the bottom of plastic containers. Numbers below five or six (I can’t remember now) could be recycled.

I didn’t get the memo when this changed. But now the numbers mean nothing. Instead, it’s the shape of the plastic container. Different shapes use different manufacturing processes.

If the neck is narrower than the body (like bottles and jugs), it was blown. If the neck is as wide as or wider than the body (like yogurt and cottage cheese tubs), it was injection molded. The two processes use different resins. The blowing process results in plastic that can be recycled; injection molding doesn’t.

So much for those lovely plastic drinking cups with the little “1″ in the triangle on the bottom. Our family goes through thousands of them a year. And they can’t be recycled.

Now, there is a natural recycling method that would put the constituents of any plastic back into natural circulation. It’s called “burning.” If we burned all that plastic, it would become mostly carbon ash and carbon dioxide. No grocery bags would be choking fish in vast Sargasso Seas of plastic in our oceans.

But, alas, the religion of environmentalism has declared carbon to be the devil, and so if you burn anything you’re causing “global warming.” This sad fantasy means that we can’t get rid of this plastic using the easiest, most efficient and most natural method.

In the real world, carbon from burned plastic becomes airborne fertilizer, which enhances plant growth throughout the world. But in the mythic universe of environmentalism, carbon dioxide supposedly causes fluctuations in global mean temperature.