Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eye opening experience

I try to be mindful of what I use and what's done with it when I'm using it. As a kid, I grew up spending my Saturday's stomping milk jugs, flattening aluminum cans, and sorting pop cans for recycle and return ($0.10/ea.. woo hoo!). Now, I try to remember to bring a few cloth/tote bags when going grocery shopping, or reusing any plastic/paper bags from the time before. I've been giving away books, dropping off clothes in the Planet Aid bins, recycling my old desktop via Staples, reusing sandwich and snack size baggies, and donating 'gently used/worn' clothes and other goods to summer yard sales. Minor things, but I feel like I'm doing some good.

Last weekend was my first trip to the Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station.. aka "the dump"

It wasn't what I was expecting.. let's just start off by saying that. I guess I'm used to the recycle centers I've been to where you pull up and you're above the bin you need to toss in your papers, glass, or aluminum separately, and there's a separate area for other 'stuff' you want to discard. Not so much here. We pulled in next to the Penske moving van that was tossing box after box. We tossed in our handful of broken down boxes that we hoped we could recycle, as well as a busted lamp, computer table, mop, foam pad, and faux Rubbermaid container that had all seen better days.

And I felt guilty.

Driving away, there were more cars like ours (albeit pricier and better looking ;) doing the same thing. There's more stuff I want to get rid of. I've posted a few items on Craigslist with little response and have started looking into Freecycle. There's a lot of clutter in our place and I continue to downsize every week. I thought I had donated enough clothes, but there were more in my drawers and closet I could bear to part with.

I hate wondering what happens to the mound of boxes and box springs and clothes that are tossed without question onto the ever growing pile.. awaiting the backhoe that will grab them and dump them into the back of an 18 wheeler.. one of many that line up along John McCormack Rd.

I try to do my part, to keep from trashing, from dumping what I use, but I know what I'm putting out there. I don't know if there's any way to feel less guilty about it.


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