Recycling isn't really all that great

Real Estate Agent with Granite Real Estate "Cool Team" 01094982

I thought I was doing the right thing.  Our local garbage (aka waste disposal service), offers a recycling can.  I use it.  I take the extra time to sort and rinse and thought I was doing the conscientious thing, until I watched Broken's episode on the "Recycling Sham" on Netflix.

Consider my bubble burst.  80% or more of what I was putting in the bin is not being recycled.  Worse yet, a lot of it is winding up on foreign shores and poluting their formerly beautiful towns and countrysides.  That's not what I intended.

I consider myself a conservationist not an environmentalist or radical anything.  Take good care of the land/earth, use sustainable products whenever possible and don't litter.  I compost and am an avid gardener and use reuseable grocery bags.  I didn't know all my single use plastics were poluting other people.

I have traveled a lot and witnessed south American countries that don't have landfills and dump garbage and trash along their freeways, picked countless plastic bags out of ocean at my favorite Belizean snorkeling spots, but I had no idea how bad the plastic polution stretched. Nor how I was contributing to it.

I urge you to watch the episode.  Technology has come a long way, there has to be a solution.  I don't believe we can ever ban all plastics nor do I think we should.  But would it be so hard to cut back on the singlel use plastics in everyday merchandising?  We can all do a little and collectively we can all do a lot.  If you have some time over the holidays take a look at the documentary.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays  (be sure to recyle your wrapping paper)



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Comments (13)

Krystin Mitchell, CPA CFE
KLSM CPA Firm, PLLC - Houston, TX
Strategic Accounting & Tax Solutions

Hi Cathy - I will have to watch that episode! Thanks for sharing. 

Dec 20, 2019 07:31 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Cathy-I will watch that episode! Larry and I try to minimize our carbon footprint. It's one of the reasons why we like the idea of selling sites like OfferUp so our "stuff" can be reused rather than thrown in the landfill. 

Dec 20, 2019 07:31 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Cathy,  Thanks for sharing this information.  I will also watch the episode.   We are very conscientious as far as caring for our environment.  We also, compost, garden, recycle and reuse.  Trying to buy items in minimal packaging.

Dec 20, 2019 10:15 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

what i learned

                                               Thank you Cathy

Dec 21, 2019 06:40 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Cathy Sarmento as you said, every little bit helps.... and it's universal.... 

Dec 22, 2019 06:03 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Cathy - it's about being mindful but there is more than that involved as well.  Not overwhelming although it can seem that way.  It is possible to solve.  

Dec 22, 2019 06:07 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for sharing. I try to purchase items that don't have plastic, but it can be difficult to do!

Dec 22, 2019 06:42 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Sobering isn't it? I really dislike plastic anything and try to avoid it all cost - it's really difficult in our society. I hope we start really addressing this problem better in our country. Thanks for raising more awareness with your post.  D

Dec 22, 2019 08:05 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I recycle everything. I won't pay for an extra recycling (trash can) container I don't have room for one.  I take my recycling to a drop off point 3-4 times a week. 

I did get a bad taste in my mouth. Our plant is a "non-profit", yet the owner lives in a 7 figure home in an exclusive area. Why non-profit?

Dec 22, 2019 10:58 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Cathy Sarmento - my mother was way ahead of the curve.  She always reused wrapping paper.

Dec 22, 2019 11:53 AM
Cindy Bernstein
Aim 4 Order LLC - Pikesville, MD
Downsizing & Home Organizing Services in Baltimore

Thank you - so glad I read this post!

Dec 22, 2019 03:34 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Cathy:

Thanks for enlightening us...I will check out that show.

I saw something just the other day about recyling and the fact that China, who used to take alot of our trash, is no longer willing to do so.  And the things I have seen recently about the amount of plastics in the oceans is truly mind-boggling.


Dec 23, 2019 05:26 PM
Maria Gilda Racelis
Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington - Manchester, CT
Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen!

Hello Cathy...

I am a conscientious earthling but not 100 percent yet to make me proud of my contribution. Plastic is durable and we can only eliminate, for now, the single use as much as possible. Most states are on the path of reducing its use, I believe. Here in CT, all stores charge 10 cents for each plastic bag. It motivates some to bring their own reusable bags but the cost is not enough to deter the rest. 

Hopefully, we won't see plactic spoons and forks in our take-outs soon. We are a bit late on this project as most European nations are already using take-out utensils made of recyled products. 

Dec 26, 2019 04:20 AM