Recycle This

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - June 03, 2009
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I have a confession to make. Despite all the good reasons and the push to go “green,” I really haven’t been doing my part. Until now, that is. I believe the area in which my family lives was the last to receive the blue recycling bin and the green foliage waste bin.

At first I was upset because including our regular gray waste bin, I now had three. This might not be a problem, except that our neighborhood association doesn’t allow us to keep those bins at the front of the house in view from the street. I even got a letter chiding me for doing that.


Because we live on a zero lot, I don’t even have a clear path by which I can push the bins to the back of the house. That means I have to store all three bins in our garage! I can’t even get a car in there, let alone these receptacles. So I was frustrated from the get-go.

Then there was the issue of sorting our garbage. Despite the urging from our kids, I couldn’t be bothered with doing it. Bad habits, I guess, and I’m just plain lazy. My wife was kind of on the fence, as her colleagues at work had already gone the recycling route even incorporating worm composting.

Waste composting is where I draw the line, but I decided I was going to master this recycling waste-collection system just like I monitor the waste of electricity in our house. I think I’m driving my wife crazy because now I’ve become the Nagasawa Recycling Czar.

I’m now obsessed with sorting recyclables, scolding my wife for not rinsing out the plastic bottles or cans. I’ve also caught her not sorting the newsprint, in other words, not removing the glossy inserts from MidWeek or the Star-Bulletin before throwing it in the recycling bin.

Suddenly, convenience became a thing of the past. I started carrying a reusable shopping bag in my truck. I checked every plastic item before we bought it to make sure it had the magic recycling No. 1 or 2 on it. I’m not sure what possessed me to do all this, but it’s driving my family nuts.

I guess I took a good thing like saving the environment and turned it into a personal quest to police my family like an OCCC prison guard. In the end, I’m doing my part, hopefully for my grandchildren. If I should live that long, if you know what I mean.

Ron’s WEBSITE of the week

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