19 November 2007

Not fantastic....

Originally uploaded by dzl
This photo of part of a mountain of waste plastic was in my Flickr Contacts' photostream today and it made me start thinking about what I do and don't recycle and why.

I'll admit, sometimes it comes down to convenience. I don't always rinse the cat food cans, so sometimes, they do go in the garbage. I'm not always patient enough to peel apart those nasty electronics packages that sandwich cardboard between two layers of plastic. I have even been known to leave empty drink containers in public garbage cans so I don't have to pack them home.

And then I see something like this and I feel guilty.

Then I get angry -- why the hell is all this packaging necessary!?

Of course, I haven't gone out of my way to stop buying so much over-packaged crap either... so I'm still the villain after all.



In related news, this is all over the web today: the off-shoring of computer recycling which is poisoning and endangering people and land on other continents.


Anonymous said...

it's interesting, the amount of plastic we produce. I lived in Calgary a decade ago, and there was no city-wide recycling collection.

I just returned from a visit, and there is still none. All of the plastic, metal, paper waste they produce is thrown away, because adding a city-wide collection would have added $8 annually to everyone's tax roles. That's seriously the reason it was vetoed. (There is private recycling if residents choose to arrange something with a company.)

It's stories like this that make it all feel really futile when you decide to recycle the lid from the glass, or not.

As for computers, I just reduced a ten year old G3 to a pile of steel and a pile of plastic. I threw the circuit boards away, and gave the usable components away. I'd rather landfill the circuit boards than know some grandmother is chipping the bitty pieces off (ref: Manufactured Landscapes).

The plastic, all made from the same recyclable plastics as containers are, was refused by CRD recycling pickup, because it's not a container. -sigh-

The metal of the G3 was dropped off at Budget Steel, where it'll hopefully come back as Land Cruiser parts in a decade.

Ya, we're totally swimming in it.
-dzl / mike

pastilla said...

V. interesting photo, triv.

(Commented on dzl's flickr and left a greasemonkey trace in your honour).

Cheryl said...

dzl: The CRD rules are frustrating, for sure; there's so much more that *could* be recycled. We don't have curbside recycling in our complex and the company that does pick it up has even more rules - no broken glass for example. Sigh. Why do they make us work so hard to do what should be straightforward?

Pastilla: aw, thanks for the trace. :) I have v. interesting contacts on Flickr!

Anonymous said...

update: possibly becuase I'm stubborn, I put the G3 plastic remnants out for CRD recylcing collection this past week, and they were collected.