Monday, December 1, 2008

Tally of items collected in November 2008


  • 13 aluminum cans (10 beer, 1 seltzer water, 2 Diet Coke)
  • 18 glass bottles (15 alcoholic, 3 non-alcoholic)
  • 48 plastic bottles (28 plain water, 1 alcoholic, 19 other)
  • 3 torn plastic bags


  • 1 huge carrier bag
  • 7 medium sized plastic carrier bags
  • 20 small plastic bags of a size suitable for dog waste
  • 4 blue pens
  • 2 paper clips
  • 1 rubber band
  • 1 coat hanger


  • 1 plastic bag too torn for reuse that couldn't be recycled because it lacked a resin number
  • several loads of random trash from a lawn
  • multiple plastic items at the entrance to a drain

There are no surprises in November's tally. As expected, the cold weather meant that I found fewer recyclables than in October. Also as expected, I didn't bother to stop and pick up as many reusables as I could have. In particular, I went past many rubber bands without picking them up. I just didn't want to deal with taking off my thick gloves so I could pick them up.

I feel guilty about my failure to pick up the rubber bands, along with all the polystyrene cups, plastic chip bags and other trash I routinely ignore. I'm aware that there's a lot more I can and should do to clean up the environment. At the same time, I want to avoid the burn out that would undoubtedly occur if I tried to pick up every piece of trash I went past. Perhaps a reasonable compromise would be to designate one day per month Clean Up Day, and on that day go out with lots of bags and pick up as much trash as I can.

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