At my house, Recycling is almost a religion. The process is all due to my husband's plan, but I'm very much into it, too. Now that we've done this a few years, I'd feel sacrilegious and sinful if I did not continue and do the best we can.
The process would not be possible is not for Green Guy Recycle out on the highway, behind a Farm and Ranch store and Goodwill. The business began small. The big ticket item was soft drink cans. They'd pay a few cents per pound, and this was an incentive for many people. Now, the place is enormous, with bins that come and go on a huge flatbed trucks. Imagine small boxcars.
So, now, in our garage, we have a bin for papers--including newspapers and cereal boxes--cardboard boxes broken down, tin cans (always rinsed after the dishes are cleaned), aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass jars and bottles, and a few other odd items. The user must sort into the proper bin. Example--for glass bottles there's a bin for green ones, brown ones, clear ones, and yellow ones. The bars in town do a good job of recycling. We've often seen a truck pull up and out comes box after box of beer and liquor bottles. Good for them.
We take most of our plastic bags back to the supermarket where we got them (I keep a few for specific purposes.) But! We barely have any now, because we bought a dozen reusable bags. Now that we're used to them, we prefer them. They're easier to carry, and with a cardboard bottom, sit flat. And each hold the amount for about three plastic bags.
Now, here's the problem with recycling. We always have a few items we either cannot recycle or don't want to (no way will I wash a plastic peanut butter jar). So, we always have one small plastic bag of "trash" that goes to Green Guy with us every other week, and goes in their humongous trash bin. Isn't that great?
NOTICE in the title I included Books. I abhor seeing books taken to the dump, but that's what happens to books on store shelves when the book vendor comes by. Prints have a certain shelf life. A Harlequin, for example, has a 60 day shelf life (am I right?) When the vendor visits Wal-Mart, he must remove the books over 60 days old. Later, he'll tear off the covers and the book part goes to the city dump. (I do not think they recycle the paper, but perhaps they do.)
I'd love some of those books to go to the library free book shelf, or the senior citizen's apartment complex that has a recreation room with book shelves, or to our service men and women in foreign lands.
Better yet, let's just go straight to POD and be rid of the previous process of printing a certain hundred thousand. Another good place we have in town is a Half-Price Book Store. This is a chain in Texas that has now spread to a few states. The store buy books from the customer, and everything in the store is half the original price. I don't use it so much anymore because of digital books and my Kindle.
Please note that I am NOT advocating publishers to go fully digital. Nope. I still want my books in print. But here's a wonderful thing for books that are out-of-date and the rights returned to the author. Now, these books can be recycled into digital books!
What wonderful possibilities we have now to recycle, reuse, or re-own to keep things out of our city dumps. And to give new life to books.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas