My late father in law was a master recycler and composter. It came from his love of junk, and the challenge of not trying not to throw much out.
He used cardboard boxes to recycle, and there was a real method to his madness.
The recycling guys loved him, as they appreciated the way he recycled meticulously. They even brought him a bottle of wine every Christmas for doing such a great job.
After he passed, the family just mishmashed it all in the same old cardboard boxes, and basically let the recycling guys deal with it.
My son Schuyleur, was continually getting angry, because they refused to take the small empty yogurt cups he kept throwing in the box.
He told me matter of factly, that the side of the cup states that it is recyclable, so they HAVE to take it. Well every week 20 empty cups lay on the bottom of the box, refused once again.
So, I basically thought I was doing a good job of carrying on the recycling tradition. Not as good as Nono, but better than the family perceived they were doing.
This morning the recycling truck pulls up and looks at my soaking wet cardboard boxes that they use week after week. They were so disgusting, that the worker shot me a look that would kill the rest of the ozone layer.
He throws the stuff into the truck and mumbles something to the driver. Two seconds later he stomps up to me and hands me a neon yellow warning paper, that is soon becoming limp and useless with the rain pounding down on it.
I scan the "Sorry,we could not pick up all your recyclables for the reason marked below" card that was handed to me.
Okay, what could I have possibly done wrong?
No check marks on the "Items left in Blue Box are not recyclable."
No check marks on "Separate your box board from your other paper." ( I honestly thought I did a great job on that one this week)
No check marks on "Flatten and stuff your box board."
No check marks on 'Do not bag your cans and bottles."
No check marks on "Blue box placed on wrong side of the road for collection."
But way, way down at the bottom of the card in huge capital letters, yes, there it stood. In red marker no less.
"GET YOURSELF SOME BLUE BOXES, OR ELSE ! "
Okay, or else what?
Are you going to open my door, and throw all my cans and bottles back in?
Is this going to be an all out war ?
Are boxes, upon boxes going to be left piled at the side of the road for weeks, or even months, long after I leave?
Is there some sort of recycling mafia???
Schuyleur tells me we are no longer going to recycle, and that we going to throw everything in the garbage if they are going to be like that.
Yes, that was no recycling love note left.
Trying to think logically, unlike everyone else, I go to the Town Hall. The lady hands me a form to sign two blue boxes out and asks me if we have ever had any before.
I start to chuckle, and then see the Recycling Man come in.
I look at him, and start to wave the still damp notice card in front of him. I start to weep softly, and tell him about the yogurt cups, and the possibility of never recycling anymore.
He looks at me with large eyes. Yes, the same eyes that one would feast at someone that just escaped a mental institution.
I stopped ranting, and said three words
"It's the menopause."
He starts smiling and says calmly,
"That's all right Mam, you just have a a nice Recycling day."
"And Mam? Just don't stop believing! "
I kid you not .That is exactly what he said.
So I dedicate this video to my recycling man.
Words and two Images by Linda Seccaspina
The Other two Images are by Google