Thursday, August 19, 2004


Our town recently started a curbside recycling program, and we decided to get in on it. They give us a 90 gallon blue bin that (other than the color) is identical to our black trash bin, and for $6 a month they collect its contents every two weeks.

I have been amazed at the amount of recyclables we put in that bin. We recycled before, but we had to take it to the drop-off point ourselves. The first week we had the blue bin, we filled it to the brim with all the recyclables we'd stacked up waiting for pregnant ol' me to take to the drop-off point. And ever since, every two weeks it's been filled to the brim. I did tell our neighbors that they were welcome to drop recyclables in it too, and they put the occasional cardboard box in it, but most of that stuff is ours. Our trash output has dropped so low that I'm seriously considering trading in our black bin for the less expensive 60-gallon bin. (Since we use cloth diapers, our trash output has not significantly increased with the birth of Bagel.)

A lot of people don't realize how "environmental" the heavily-Republican state of Utah is. The recycling program is operated at a profit and has been so popular that the city recently expanded its service outside the city limits. The cardboard is locally recycled to make insulation. People out here are actually concerned with how long our landfill will last and how good our air quality is, while people in other places I've lived are mostly concerned with making sure they parrot the right environmental platitudes. They talk the talk, but Utahns by and large walk the walk (and get condemned for not talking the talk correctly).