woensdag 5 januari 2011

recycling - how hard can it get!

The Christmas decorations were packed away yesterday, and today it was time to get rid of all the junk that has accumulated over the holiday period. I loaded a box of paper into my car, and a big bag of glass bottles, as well as two sacks of plastic waste.

The paper and cardboard comes from packing from presents and household goods, but because John runs his business from home, he also generates a lot of paper and carton waste and I make regular trips to get rid of that.

The bottles usually go to the bottle bank along the street, but the snow and bad weather meant that the volume was greater than I could carry, so thats why that was going in the car.

The plastic - thats another story. At the beginning of 2010 the Netherlands invented Plastic Heroes, to encourage recycling of plastic. there were TV adverts, and leaflets from the council. I was pleased to recycle, and began to collect plastic enthusiastically. The council provided us all with special plastic sacks for the waste, and a schedule of pickups - one a month on a tuesday! We soon found that once a month was not often enough, as a household we generate at least three sacks a month. but the first month I happily put my sacks out on the appointed tuesday, along with the other householders in the street. The sacks stayed outside our houses for a very long time, being blown around by the wind and attacked by the ever present crow colony, who scavenge anything that does not move. eventually a little truck came round and picked up the bags, and we began our recycling cycle once again.

Each month was the same, householders hopefully put out their bags of plastic on the designated tuesday, and around 2 days later they are picked up. Its got to the point where, if you see a plastic sack on the street, you put yours out in the hope that something will happen, a sort of collective optimism which is always dashed. Thats why the bags were in my car today.

I drove off to the council tip, and joined the many other women doing the same thing. We were helped by the council workers who helpfully pointed out where different items had to go, (they very rarely help physically, if they do, they unerringly pick up the lightest item in the car, and leave you to struggle with the old matrass or kitchen sink that needs to be ditched)

So I trotted around, climbing the ladder to put the plastic in a huge dumpster, and hoisting the paper above my head into the crusher. The bottles I carried over to the bottle bank to find that it was full. there being no other place to dump them, I loaded them back into my car, and drove to the supermarket to use the bottle bank there. Then I drove to the council offices to pick up more bags for the plastic recycling.

Getting home, I found that John had received another delivery of computer components, and the empty box and all the packing material were neatly stacked in the corner of the living room.

tomorrow I'll tell you how I get to return all the faulty modems to the supplier after John has installed new ones! or maybe not :)