Friday, April 10, 2009

Recycling Woes

After months of subjecting myself to being the opposite of a dumpster-diver and sneaking my recycling into other people's bins, prowling around like a criminal, worried that someone might see me and yell, I've decided that if Mother Earth and Chicago want me to recycle, they are going to have to make it much, much easier. I'm very disappointed by how difficult it is to recycle in this bloody city! (Someone should tell the International Olympic Committee.) Chicago's first pathetic attempt at recycling came in the form of the "Blue Bag" program. Residents had to buy blue bags from the grocery store for an absurd amount of money and put the full bags in with the regular garbage. Of course this was a complete failure... (as if anyone really believed that some good citizen of the city was actually sorting trash from recyclables.)
Then it started a new program that uses blue bins whose success rate is yet to be determined. The only problem is that under this new system, only buildings with four or fewer units are privy to getting these bins and those people protect and hide them like drivers here claim stake in a parking spot they've shoveled from a foot of snow. (We live in a larger building, so no bins.) Well, you know what? I'm am through with letting my recycling pile up because I don't have the car and can't drive it to a recycling bin. And I'm tired of having to catch these blue bins on the right day so I can secretly stash my own recycling inside. It's degrading. SO for the time being, I am regretfully tossing out what my conscience says I should recycle. Actually, my conscience has gotten tired of all the shenanigans, too, so it's pretty mum on the entire subject now.  I did, afterall, give it my best shot.


  1. Jess-I agree with you I hate throwing away what I know I should be recycling. I can't wait to move into my new house so I can too have a blue bin. Here are some of my thoughts/ideas-- Do you maybe have a neighbor in another smaller building that would share their blue bin with you if you shared the cost? Is there any way for you to get enough interest in your building's neighbors and contact your landlord to provide a recycling dumpster for just your building?

  2. Unfortunately, I don't know any of my neighbors (outside my building.) I've thought about rallying my building neighbors... I'm not sure they would be open to it. We have about 40 units in our building, so it would be quite an endeavor to coordinate some sort of joint recycling effort. Since Michael and I are planning to move within the year, I have resolved to waiting until we move.