So when I lived in Chesapeake I was very excited when they introduced the new huge blue recycling bins. They were as large as our residential trash cans. Awesome! Finally we could recycle as much as we wanted and have the town pick it up from our curbside. Sadly…I moved to Christiansburg where apparently they don’t find recycling to be important.
First off the town doesn’t offer a curbside recycling, but there is a company that does recycling for them. So you can order your free blue bin from Valley Curbside Recycling. Great, I think…well kinda. These bins are super small and hold maybe the equivalent of 2 paper grocery bags worth of stuff…compared to most peoples trash cans which holds about 10-20 times that. What message are we sending people? What if that recycling bin was 10-20 times the trash cans? Then maybe would it help feed people the idea that they can recycle a lot more stuff than they can’t? What makes this even more frustrating…as I log onto Valley curbside, is although the blue bin is free, you subscribe to the service. Okay, can’t be too much, right? Well actually it’s $150 a year. Maybe not a huge amount when you break it down to a little less than .50 cent a day, but, for that amount it’s much easier to just take it to the recycling center myself. And what’s even worse, is how many people in this zip code that can not afford this “luxury”? Most of those people are the same ones who can’t drive, so there only alternative is to throw away their recyclables.
Recycling shouldn’t be a luxury. In a dream world it’d be mandatory, but at least, here in the real world it should at least be a feasible and encouraged option for everyone. In fact, while I was trying to find a good photo to go with this story, I found a blog entry over at dontblow.it that talks about LA essentially bribing it’s citizens to recycle. Essentially, they weigh your recyclables and you earn points to use toward gift cards and free items. Now that’s a cool deal! Help the world and get free stuff (which hopefully won’t just end up in the recycling bin). It’s really too bad Christiansburg can’t catch on to all the good recycling-Karma going on out there, I don’t even need gift cards, just a decent sized bin that I don’t have to pay a fortune for to have it emptied…I really think the citizens would fully support better, larger and more affordable recycling options…or am I crazy?
P.S. and yes, I did steal the photo from dontblow.it.