For the most part, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of girl but there is something going on in my community that really turns my stomach, and I’m writing today with the hope that it will keep me from chaining myself to the dumpster down the street.
Dramatic? Yes, but I have to do something.
Week after week, I drive the two miles between my house and the lot behind our community’s rec center where those of us without curbside pickup take our trash. There are bins to recycle cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, aluminum and tin, and a non-profit organization has a trailer there where we can drop off donations. There are four huge bins for assorted types of waste destined for the landfill.
In my small town, it could not be any easier to let go of that which no longer serves us in a way that honors the earth. And still, every week, when I arrive with my car full of stuff we’re done with, I pull in behind someone hurling a truck full of recyclable and donatable goods straight into the landfill-bound bins.
After four years of this same experience over and over again, I feel ready to come undone. Why aren’t we all doing everything in our power to keep all but true waste out of the landfill?
Recently, I confessed to the guy who runs that whole operation that I find it so upsetting. He said it happens all day, every day, and that he hates that he can’t do anything about it. He can’t force people to drive the extra 30 feet to drop their cardboard into the recycling bins. (And sometimes it is already broken down.) He can’t ask them to donate that perfectly good sink to a local non-profit organization. He can’t refuse them, and frankly, I’m not sure that chaining myself to trash bins would cultivate much more than traffic and frustration.
Next: What will it take for this situation to change?