Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Recycle ... Neatly

Recycling and reusing were topics of Tabor's One Day at a Time blog Sunday morning.  I encourage any and all recycling efforts myself--and have for a long time.  We used a lot of space for bins--one for cans, one for clear glass, one for colored glass, one for newspaper--under our cellar stairs long, long before there was any kind of mandatory recycling.  I can remembering cringing when work mates tossed paper (special educators can generate a lot of paper) into the wastebasket instead of the recycle bin, and this was after mandatory recycling.  I believe this is the source of my high blood pressure, actually, not the other stresses of the job.

Here in Florida, we still have to sort recycles--paper in one container and bottles, cans and plastics in another.  The city picks up yard waste, but not compost.  In Vermont, we have had all in one recycle for a number of years now.  We can take yard waste to the transfer station, along with compostible garbage that cannot go in a backyard cold compost container.  That includes paper towels and tissue, hair, laundry lint, meat scraps, bones, greasy pizza boxes, actual grease, wax paper.  Very little actually goes into our garbage can at home anymore.

So there is still sorting to be done and now we have two recycle bins, a backyard compost bin, a "hot" compost bin, a returnables bin, and a garbage can.  Guests have learned not to try to help me clean up until after the sort...or, like my son, to ask where things are meant to go before just raking off a plate into the kitchen trash.  We keep all this stuff contained and neatly out of sight, by the way.

What Tabor's post made me think about--aside from my compulsive nature around handling the trash of everyday life--was the first time my daughter came home from her college dorm.  Her comment was, "Mom, do you realize that there are people who do not recycle?"  She had been flabbergasted to see a roommate through a shampoo container into the wastepaper basket.

This, in turn, reminded me of the time she came home from a friend's house where she had witnessed the friend's mother opening a drawer in the friend's bedroom and tossing in a pile of unfolded underwear.  "Mom. do you know that not everyone keeps their underwear drawers the way you do?"

I mean, seriously?  Who doesn't fold their underwear and stack it neatly in a drawer? 

You think you are doing your best to raise your kids right and then they go out into the world.


  1. Here's my poem called Honesty. I hope you like me after you read it:

    I place my books back on the shelf
    instead of let them rest
    upon the couch or table where
    I think they suit me best.

    My clothes get put on hangers,
    not just tossed upon a chair
    or dropped upon the closet floor
    and then left lying there.

    I promptly do the dishes so my
    drainboards always shine.
    In opening cupboards high or low
    you'll find no mess in mine.

    My house is always spotless
    so it satisfies my mate
    But don't be fooled: this tidiness
    is not my natural state.

    You'll only see my image if
    you look at shiny floors.
    The real me is hidden in
    my messy dresser drawers.

  2. My underware are kind of folded but I do have a junk drawer in the kitchen that would make a rat turn up its nose.
    I do try to recycle.

  3. I agree with both your commenter's posts as they reflect my tastes and thank you for the link!!

  4. How funny! No, you definitely aren't a hoarder.

  5. Bobby Gail--It's not that I don't appreciate the poem, but, personally, I would tidy the drawers and closets before picking up other clutter. It is a sickness, I know.
    A.P.--What's a junk drawer?

  6. Tabor--You are welcome. I'm glad to have someone else urge recycling since people are sick of hearing my lectures about it.
    Marcia--Not a hoarder, no. Have you noticed there are no reality TV shows about non-hoarders?

  7. Can you really compost paper towels? Do I have to worry about the bleach in them?

  8. Retirement has brought unfolded underwear, getting a towel from the dryer to shower, no need to shower daily...too many towels in the dryer, but I believe in cleanliness...which is different from neatness! B


I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.