My Trash Can is So Empty
Or nearly empty. Last summer I asked Waste Management for a 90 gal (standard size) trash can for my recyclables. The company seems to supply these to new houses, along with a companion trash can. But for residents who are already customers, WM seems content with allowing them to use bins, barrels, and even cardboard boxes.
When my new recycle container arrived, I resolved to really use it. By “really” I mean to earnestly try to put everything that is recyclable in the new can. That meant not shortcutting because I didn’t want to wash out a mayonnaise jar or retrieve the lid of a tuna fish can.
Fortunately, I know a little more than the average garbage tosser. With my effort as township supervisor to push for more recycling, I can actually recite the names of plastics 1-7. This knowledge would probably make me a genius in 7th grade but at my age there are few who want to hear about polyethylene terephthalate (that’s number #1 for the uninitiated).
Over several months we’ve refined our sorting method. My wife refuses to walk the five extra steps to the bin so she leaves recyclables on the kitchen counter nearest the door. My daughter, who usually sits on the kitchen trash can as her personal seat, will refuse to move if anyone wants to throw away something that still has a use.
The most astounding change is in the balance between the trash can and the recycling bin. The former is almost empty with the latter brimming full. We have so little actual garbage that I can wheel the can to the curb with one hand.
The recycling truck team is probably more than a little curious about our lifestyle. The contents range from Barbie doll boxes to gin and vodka bottles. And by the way, Barbie bodies are plastic #7 and the head is #3, just in case they get overhandled and you need to toss them out.