Confession time: I came late to the recycling game. We bought our first house in 2003 in a town where there was no curbside pickup for either trash or recycling, yet the transfer station made it very easy to drop off each. Despite this ease of use, we only "dabbled" in the art of separation. Sure, if we had a party and needed to dispose of excess cans, bottles or boxes, we'd recycle. But it never became part of the "plan."
That changed in 2006. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law moved in with us for a summer on the heels of a relocation to NH from VT. Said brother-in-law (Jarrett Duncan, now an Associate in the Administrative Law department of a prestigious NH law firm) had been on us for a while about recycling. Finally, fed up with seeing mountains of recycleables hauled off to the dump, Jarrett helped us put a plan in place. We bought some containers, and religiously separated the castaway wheat from the chaff.
So what's the big revelation?
Fast-forward 3+ years. Yesterday we forgot to bring out the recycling. In the hustle and bustle of Sunday-night week prep, we both forgot. Since we've had more than a few people over the last couple of weeks, the recycling was a little heavier than usual. So we started brainstorming about what to do. Where can we bring it? Where is the recycling station? Do we need a sticker on our car? What are the hours?
It never occurred to us to just throw it away.
Baltimore County offers curbside recycling pickup on Monday, trash on Wednesday. It would be easy to throw it away on Wednesday with the rest of the trash. Yet it never it occurred to us to do that (until someone at work casually mentioned that as an option). It still doesn't register as a solution. Three years ago we would have just tossed it, and today we're deliberating how to get it to the right place. I'd say that's just a little bit of progress...
Photo Credit: Chris Satchwell