Some more, please: The politics of waste

2011-04-15 07:36

Of course I recycle to save the rain forests, the wolves, the habitat of the lesser-spotted-weevil, but mainly I recycle to save the planet for my child and her generation.

So, the stench from the current garbage collectors’ strike in my area might be beyond ripe, but like Pollyanna I have found a silver lining.

Also, I have not, like my odd neighbours, left my bins hopefully on the sidewalk adding to the stinking piles, denying through their actions the reality that no one is coming to get it.

The only real solution is to make less rubbish. For the last week I have managed to create only half a bag of non-recyclable waste.

Why? Because I have been actively recycling instead of what I used to do before – just the obvious stuff (wine bottles, milk cartons and tuna fish tins).

This last week I scrutinised everything. Take the lamb stew. The onion peels, tomato off cuts and the ends of the green beans went into a Tupperware destined for earthworm grub.

The plastic that covered the beans went into the plastic bin as did the container the lamb came in (blood rinsed out, of course).

Meanwhile, everything from the envelope the phone bill came in to the till slip from Woolies went into the paper bin and any leftovers from the toddler’s fishcake and broccoli dinner found their way into the grateful dog’s bowl (makes a nice change from life-prolonging pellets).

Also, I have shopped with more care. No willy-nilly buying, instead careful, considered outings to get just enough for the week. Wasted food is always a sin, but when it starts to smell like one too it puts a whole new complexion on the politics of waste.

So really the garbage collectors’ strike, their issues and bad behaviour aside, has furthered my desperate bid to be less of a mindless consumer-bot.

I’m just sorry my big black bins were already full by the time I caught on. It won’t happen again.

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