Monday, May 25, 2009

Items collected during May 2009

I'm still avoiding picking up recyclables and reusables due to the presence of swine flu in my community. However, I've made a few exceptions:

  • 2 plastic bottles (1 Tropicana Strawberry Melon Juice Drink, 1 Deer Park water)
  • 2 glass bottles (1 Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino Coffee Drink, 1 Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey)
  • 1 aluminum can (Bud Ice)
  • 1 instruction manual for a Nokia 6205 phone

  • 2 small plastic bags
  • 1 plastic carrier bag

  • 1 polystyrene cup with a plastic lid and straw (McDonald's)

Most of the items were picked up only because of special circumstances. The Tropicana bottle rolled up and down the bus I was riding for a good 10 minutes, finally reaching the steps and rolling off the bus when the doors opened to let me off. As the only passenger disembarking at that stop, I felt responsible for it. The glass Starbucks bottle was on the road directly in front of a parked car's wheel, and would likely have been smashed when the car was next used, causing a hazard to bicycle riders on that street. The small plastic bags were picked up while I was walking the dog and knew I would likely get to use the bags within minutes. The plastic carrier bag was picked up when I made an impromptu trip to the grocery store and, realizing I didn't have enough shopping bags with me, grabbed a bag from the sidewalk near the grocery store.

The whiskey bottle, beer can, water bottle, Nokia manual, and McDonald's cup were collected after being on the ground for so long that I concluded that any flu viruses clinging to them would have expired days or even weeks ago from exposure to the heat. I've started making a note of the other recyclables I pass so I can pick up those that have been lying around for a day or longer.

I wish the Nokia manual had been picked up by whoever owns the Nokia phone. The manual lay in the street for a long time, and I left it there until rain was imminent.

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