Wednesday, January 20, 2010

in which enviro-girl behaves very badly

Last summer the residents of Happyville were each given a ginormous trash dumpster, complements of a new contract with the sanitation company and Happyville's tax revenue. When she says "ginormous," Enviro-Girl means four of the five members of her family can comfortably fit inside this thing. Happyville's citizens did NOT get recycling containers. They were told to ante up their own containers for emtpy cans and old newspapers.

Then Happyville declared a new pick-up schedule--recycling every other week (it had been every week), but they'd still pick up garbage every week. Which made no sense in light of the new ginormous dumpsters. Enviro-Girl was disgusted because she generates more recycling than waste. Her recycling barrel overfloweth, and if she misses a week, she misses a month for pick-up. NOT cool. Meanwhile, she rolls that new ginormous dumpster of garbage to the end of her driveway once a month because it never gets full.

But ever one to find the silver lining, Enviro-Girl reasoned that the new ginormous dumpsters would be less prone to tipping over since they are SO heavy. This could mean less trash blowing around in the ditches and across her 60 acres.

Or not.

Two months into dumpster-ownership, hers tipped over, knocking almost a month's worth of garbage into the ditch. Enviro-Girl grumbled and picked up all the trash.

In December the dumpster ended up in the ditch, half-buried with snow during a blizzard. Enviro-Girl shoveled it out, knowing by the next morning she'd be unable to locate it once the snowplows went through their road.

Meanwhile, Enviro-Girl faithfully used her recycling barrel, setting it a careful 4 feet away from any obstacles..

Last week she found her recycling barrel in pieces strewn all over the road. Instead of chucking the barrel in the ditch as they're prone to do, the sanitation workers let it roll into the road where some douchebag ran it over in his SUV. At least that's what Enviro-Girl imagines happened.

Enviro-Girl looked at the plastic shards. She looked at the temperature gauge in her Momvan. Fifteen degrees and windy. F*ck it, she thought, and drove up to her house without stopping. Her reward for being a faithful recycler and reuser and composter, for picking up the trash in the ditches and fields around her house, for only asking the sanitation workers to pick up her garbage once a month because she generates so much less than the average household is to have her beloved and necessary recycling bin demolished. Enviro-Girl choked back her guilt with some leftover Christmas chocolates and reasoned that she was a friend to the environment. She'd probably end up picking up all the parts of that recycle bin come springtime anyway. And during a Wisconsin winter it was pretty unlikely any forest creatures would choke on degrading plastic until she ended up picking it up. And who knows? Maybe someone else would end up picking up the mess she hadn't made and that would be fair, too, because she's always picking up messes she hasn't made. Right? RIGHT???

Sometimes being loyal and noble and brave isn't fun. Spiderman experienced that. Superman and Batman have had their moments of superhero angst. Enviro-Girl is having hers. But she will NOT go out to the end of the road for those plastic bits. And she's refusing to buy another recycle barrel, either. She's shoving all her recyclables into cardboard boxes for the sanitation workers to haul away so there's nothing left at the end of the driveway but weeds and a mailbox.


  1. I can't believe that in this day and age, your town cut back on recycling and is encouraging waste with those great big trash cans. Have you thought about taking on the Man, so to speak, and challenging your town about this?

  2. Ack!!! That's sick. i just wish people would start to realize how necessary recycling is. Oh my. You should send this to a local newspaper or something... get someone's attention!

  3. That stinks ( sorry, I really can't help it!). Could you duct tape a recycle sign on the garbage can and then put out your own, smaller version?

  4. I've seen our sanitation workers throw my recycleables (i know i didn't spell that right) into the regular trash. Made me SO MAD. WTH?

  5. I agree w/WackyMummy, send it to the Post Crescent. That's absurd! In the 4 different towns I have lived in the last 10 years we have had equal sized dumpsters for both and the recycle is always full long before the trash.

  6. that sticks big time!!!!!!

    We also generate more recycling than trash, but luckily both of ours get picked up weekly (and they are the same size container!). We usually just have one kitchen trash bag of waste at the end of the week...but the recycling bin is overflowing.

  7. Our city canceled recycling altogether. Now there are no bins to bring our cardboard, metal, glass and plastic to. They said it wasn't cost effective. [grumblegrumble...] I'm still mad about it. We separate our trash anyway, and bring it to a commercial recycler ourselves.

    I don't blame you for being angry. (But those shards in the road... are they going to burn your bacon the longer they sit there?)

    just askin'...

  8. We have stellar service by our disposal company in this area. My comment was getting too long, may have to do a whole post!


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