Going Green II

It has been to long and I have been lazy – enough said about that. Anyway, I am on a bit of a roll with this going green thing today. Just had a conversation with the new roommate a bit ago in regards to greenness.

It is amazing to me the things that can be recycled in some of the bigger towns and cities around. It is amazing to me also just how much the recycling programs have grown and expanded over the years. I can recall just a few years ago for instance, when here in Lexington you couldn’t recycle slick print paper, which meant by and large they could not take magazines, now then can. It also used to be that there was nothing to do with electronics but to toss them. These days however, there a drop offs for such things as even computers and monitors – which is a very good thing. Granted, here in central Kentucky Lexington is the only place with such options, but it is growing. Even tiny Wilmore has an aggressive recycle pickup program, of course many smaller communities have yet to even make that step, but it is coming.

Even in those communities there are a lot of things that are turned over and hence recycled many times without the need to actually recycle it. For instance, some of my favorite places are Good Will and Salvation Army stores. Granted, not everything there is great, but sometimes you find a rare gem. Like, when I was looking for black cotton to do horse barding and found a roll of it at Good Will for pennies. There are also things like free-cycle listings, and to a lesser extent things like Craigslist and the newspaper classifieds. I have had good luck getting rid of things on free-cycle, but not much success at grabbing those things in which I had a particular interest.

This leads me to one of my favorite ‘recycling’ events – dumpster diving. I admit to it, it is a great thing. I have not done much of it of late. But I do recall times that I have found enough lumber that we thought the springs on the vehicle were about at capacity, enough metal to make it worthwhile to take it to scrap yard, and of course the wonderful tools and useful things that can be found on occasion. I need to get back into the practice a bit more. Though I sort of had a good find of almost that nature this week. I had been looking for a bike for a while – but I know there are a number of used bikes out there. I had given some time and effort looking, especially on Craigslist and had found the heavy framed mountain bike type that could be taken off-road for a reasonable price and purchased it. Then the next day, I am driving home and see a bike in front of a house, regular roadster 10 speed, with a sign free or trash. I grabbed it too. Now granted it needs a little work and was not exactly the one I wanted – but it will be hopefully used (another part of the reason I did not want to pay full price). I call this the buy one get one free or the two for the price of one used deal.

So in this world of recycling and being green, I am just amazed and shamed at the amount of trash that is often found on the side the road. Ever been driving along when the county jail is out there picking up stuff right before mowing? They fill up a bag every couple of hundred feet. Now I realize some of this is like a blow out from a tire or something came off of a truck. But there are more than a few McDonald’s and Wendy’s bags, not to mention the amazing number of pop cans and bottles. Me personally, I do not get it. I can not see how anyone thinks that is the right thing to do. I will take it one step further. I think anyone doing that should have to spend a day or ten picking up trash out there.

Interestingly, my new roommate thinks we are not that far from having mandatory recycling at home. Such that if you do not separate out your recyclable materials you will be subject to a fine. Can you imagine this as a law for someone who still thinks it is acceptable to toss stuff out their window?