Frustrations With Recycling

I once wrote a blog titled, “Recycling: Am I The Only One Doing It?” In that blog, I expressed concern with the blatant omission of recycling programs while visiting various areas in Georgia and South Carolina. Well, my frustrations continue.

I was in Florida not to long ago and was forced to hold my tongue when I realized the lack of recycling efforts. It started while a guest in a home. I had used a water bottle and asked if they recycled and where I should discard of the empty bottle. This woman initially said, “yes, we do recycle,” and took the trash. A half hour later, I saw a trash bin full of discarded bottles, plastic, plates, food scraps, etc. and quickly discovered there was no formal recycling effort in the entire state.

I was bothered for two reasons. First and foremost, there was no recycling effort in the state of Florida. Second, this woman was so embarrassed by that fact, she felt the need to lie to me. I don’t blame her, though. With the existing push towards green, I would have been embarrassed as well.

In my previous blog, readers responded saying that even though the consumers don’t see a formal recycling program, there might be one “behind the scenes” where trash is sorted and recyclables discarded appropriately. This might be true, but seems crazy to me. Why not let the everyday person like myself aid in that sorting? Inevitably, trash will end up in the recycling container, and vice versa, but why spend the money to sort through everything when a simple separate recycling container can aid in the process?

  • I generally refuse to use plastic bottles of water and ask for a cup of water. It's about more than recycling that plastic bottle. Think about the water, chemicals and fuel used to make it, the fuel and resources used to transport it, etc. We have advanced to bringing water to every household in America and we have people insisting on buying their water 12 ounces at a time.