Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Green Frustration

As you may already know, I live in a small rural town in Oklahoma. Our town got single-stream curbside recycling a few months ago, as you can guess I was so excited.

Now fast forward a few months and while I still get excited every week when I put my bins out, I'm also frustrated. See, each trash morning I look around my neighborhood and see a tiny handful of people have their bins out and even those that do have very little in them, but their trash cans are full. This makes me sad.

Tomorrow morning is our trash day and while trash cans are slowly making their way out tonight I counted only 5 bins out on two blocks and this is an improvement. From what I have heard around town I think people are still confused about the new trash system and that more education is needed. I do plan to bring this up at the next local recycling coalition (which I'm a member of) meeting.

My other frustration this week is the fact that a neighbor has fluorescent tubes sitting in their trash can. I don't know if I should go get them out or leave them. The house is up for sale so the owners are never there so I can't talk to them about it. There seems to be a fine line between being a good citizen and getting into other people's business. Around here the line is even finer.

So do you ever have green frustrations like this? If so, what do you do about them?


Burbanmom said...

Ugh. Been there and been frustrated like you. I don't know if you live in a "community" that has any sort of formal interaction (board meetings, newsletters, or even a neighborhood watch) but offering to speak at one of these would be helpful. Another option might be to approach the local schools to see if the students would like to take on the task of educating the community (kids LOVE to tell their parents how ignorant they are! - take advantage of that!!) Good luck! :-)

misha said...

I totally feel your frustration. Here in Saint Louis it is just as bad. I just came from visiting my fiance in ontario and there the trash won't get picked up if there is recycling in it (they mandate the use of clear plastic bags). They also get compostables picked up including cat and dog waste!!!! This is in Guelph which is perhaps the greenest city in North America. It is very hard here at home to take my trash out to our dumpsters and see them full of recyclables when the recycling dumpster is next to the trash!!! I am a recovered schitzoaffective and a large part of my "psychosis" was due to extreme frustration with the very large percentage of society that can't be bothered (from suv driving suburbanites who recycle to the poor folks in my hood that maybe don't even have a car and don't recycle.) Tai chi and the Tao Te Ching
help me deal with it as does finally getting a computer and having access to the internet and finding things like your blog (and my fiance) so i KNOW i am not alone. All we can do is try and I do believe we are moving in the right direction - just at a glacial pace. I believe humans will adjust and live within the carrying capacity of the planet because that is the ONLY way we will survive and we are survivors.

Lisa Sharp said...

Thanks to both of you for your tips!


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