Sometime last year, we received a notice that whatever entity controls the trash pick up was going to be sending 50 gallon sized recycling bins to every house in the neighborhood. Included was a list of things that could and couldn’t be recycled, but I was just thrilled at the thought of receiving a full sized recycling bin. We had a little 14 gallon one that we’d put out with the trash each week, but we could only fit so much, so we’d either have to crush down what was in there, or put out the rest in Amazon boxes, or paper grocery bags, hoping it got sent off in the right truck. But now we could recycle all the things!
There isn’t much I like about this city, but seeing the slow yet sure increase of yellow-lidded green bins at the curb each week gave me hope, even though I’ve never caught sight of the truck that picks up the recyclables. For all I know, it’s the same truck, driving through the neighborhood twice in a day, first for trash, then recyclables. Which you have to admit is pretty crafty in a really shitty sort of going-out-of-your-way-to-kill-the-environment-even-faster kind of way.
Then again, it would explain the recent disappearance of our old recyclables bin…
Normally we keep our small bin in the garage, just outside the door. That way it’s just a matter of rinsing out and pitching our recyclable stuff into the 14 gallon bin, and then dumping that into the curbside bin when it gets full. But due to the holiday season, the big bin was overflowing with wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, and those bastard twist ties that keep Barbie bound behind her plastic housing like some kind of Malibu Han Solo in consumerist carbonate. (Or something…) Leaving for my job interview, I didn’t have time to try and squash the contents of the old bin into the larger, so I left it sitting next to it, with it’s big, white RECYCLE symbol facing the street.
It wasn’t until Brandon came home that night that I even realized it was missing. I double checked the garage, looked out the window again at the curbside bins. Nothing. Setting the empty cans I was holding among the other recyclables in purgatory on the counter, I turned to Brandon. Slowly, trying to process the situation, I asked, “Did… Did they… recycle our recycling bin?!” After bringing the bins back up to the house and looking inside each one, he came back inside and said with an air of irritation, “They must have. That or somebody stole it.”
“I don’t think that’s how recycling works,” I wondered out loud. Maybe somebody had stolen it, thinking to themselves how great it would be to have a small bin, too. Maybe somebody really hates the planet, and was disgusted by our over-enthusiastic recycling. Or, most likely, the garbage man’s finally snapped and doesn’t even give a fuck about keeping up the illusion of a separate truck picking up the recycling, so he was just like “FUCK THIS BIN IN ALL ITS ENTIRETY” and threw the whole damned thing in. That seemed like the most logical conclusion. And what with all the melancholy that seems to be going about, I really can’t say I blame the guy…
And so the coming of the New Year takes with it its first victim.
RIP Lil Recycling Bin
2016 – 2017
Here’s hoping he gets recycled into something really cool, like an inflatable shark, or something…