Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recyclables collected Thursday, February 5, 2009

  • 6 glass bottles (5 Corona Extra, 1 Sapporo Premium Beer "Japan's Oldest Brand")
  • 3 plastic bottles (1 Dasani water, 1 Coca-Cola, 1 bottle without a label)
  • 1 torn plastic bag
  • the tear-off tops of two sets of newspaper bags

When I was approaching the end of my travels on Thursday, I thought about how short that day's recital would be. I hadn't found any bottles or cans at that point, only the remains of plastic bags. Then, right before I finished plodding through the cold, I came across 6 glass bottles on one block followed by 3 plastic bottles on the next.

Two of Thursday's plastic bottles were noteworthy for the unusual physical damage that had been done to them. The label-free plastic bottle was torn apart at both ends while the middle was left intact. The tearing looks intentional, yet I can't think of any motivation except perhaps for a display of manly strength. The Dasani bottle is even more perplexing, because it's in perfect shape except for three holes with smooth, flat edges. Could the plastic have been melted away somehow? Why on earth would anyone do that to their water bottle?

Another little mystery I can't get out of my mind is why my current neighborhood is the only one I've ever lived in that is frequently littered with the tops of sets of newspaper bags, even though I've always lived in places with high rates of home newspaper delivery. Until I moved here, I wasn't even aware that newspaper bags had tear-off top sections that were stapled together. I always knew that newspapers were delivered inside plastic bags, but I never gave any thought to how the bags were bundled together before being used by the people who deliver newspapers. Then, I came here, and soon came across the stapled-together tops of the bags, often with several complete bags still attached. Until very recently, I threw the bag tops straight into the nearest trash can, but now they're recyclable where a friend lives so I can take them to her house for recycling. Anyway, although I can understand newspaper delivery people being litterbugs, I find it odd that I never came across these bag tops before moving here.

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