Pedestrian Recycling Relief

Whaddya do when you’ve got a handful of paper, cups and cans from snacking on the run, far from your recycling bin at home? Yeah, most of us probably trash and dash, green with eco-guilt.
Thankfully, we can trash guilt-free, at Baristaville’s most popular pedestrian hang-out, Church Street. Recently spotted in front of Terra Tea Salon: this pristine photo of Mother Nature on a public recycling box. Terra recycles and composts everything from their store – and put the container out as a gentle reminder for passers-by.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Since almost all recycling is actually more wasteful of resources and greenhouse-gas-producing than careful landfill management, why have “eco guilt”? The eco guilt should come from not scrutinizing these programs to remove those that simply can never be made eco-efficient.

  2. Understanding the importance of pollution, can Terra kindly clean up their recycling bins and other paraphanalia they’ve got outside their store – sadly, their efforts look no better than that creepy “health” food store that used to be there.

  3. Carla and Grace are two of the nicest people you’ll ever find…they work very hard with their Fair Trade concept, and eco friendly items.
    They are the only ones who have such recycling bins in the area….and my dear seventeen, should you happen to see some “paraphanalia ” on the side walk, or street, pick it up….they have flowers, and baskets, and other clean nice things, not creepy things, in front of their store.
    They are a big welcome to the community, and Church Street.

  4. That “creepy” health food store was a nice place to pick up a piece of fruit for a snack. Over the Rainbow was also responsible for introducing live music performances to Church Street. I remember stopping and listening to Cate in front of the store. They should re-name the bandstand in its honor.

  5. “Since almost all recycling is actually more wasteful of resources and greenhouse-gas-producing than careful landfill management, why have “eco guilt”? ”
    Do you have any facts and figuresa on that? Don’t forget that different items cycled differently.(glass, metal, paper) are recycled differently. While burying a soda probaly does use less energy than melting it down and reusing it, the energy used for recycling the soda can should be compared to the energy needed to mine and refine the ore that would be needed to replace that can.

  6. Do you have any facts and figuresa on that?
    Of course I do. Funny that you use aluminum recycling as your example, because that is indisputably more energy efficient and eco-friendly than mining and smelting.
    Paper, glass, plastic — nope, not usually.
    The NY times did a famous Sunday Magazine article about it years ago. Now that they’ve come to their senses and made their archives accessible, you can read it (free registration required). If you don’t trust the NY Times as a source, I figure that you know how to google. Beware of ideological sites, though — too many groups have a vested interest in maintaining a state of ecoemergency or ecodenial to offer balanced analyses.

  7. You realize the NYT article is almost 12 years old? A lot has changed as far as the processes from pickup to manufacturing. There might still be a curve in some of the items recycled, but unless the demand to do so is consistent, the short sighted will still see more profit in not changing. Landfills are finite. There maybe more room in this country at the moment than say Europe, but it not a sustainable process. The cost to move all that garbage further and farther from the large cities that are running out of local dumps is climbing geometrically; and what happens when those are full? Making as much as possible reusable is the only way the next generations won’t be buried under the crap we’re throwing away.

  8. Of course I realize the article is old. Landfills are by no means finite. Sorry to blaspheme against the church of recycling — and don’t take it as being absolutely opposed at all — but I just don’t see carefully throwing most stuff out as all that great a sin.
    I instinctively rebel against alarmist statements such as “Making as much as possible reusable is the only way the next generations won’t be buried under the crap we’re throwing away,” because it looks to me like fearmongering in order to control public behavior. Just like cries of how illegal immigrants are swarming over us!, bird flu is coming!, our children play violent video games!, marijuana is a gateway drug!, other countries have better science education!, millions are without health insurance!, godless East Coast liberals want to abort your grandchild!, etc., etc., etc., the apocalyptic recycling line just doesn’t control me anymore.

  9. I have to disagree, landfills are very finite, they can’t be put just anywhere. I cited Europe on purpose because they are facing the garbage problem much sooner than we are. Large cities are spending billions a year to dispose of waste. This is not some liberal “fear mongering”, it is facts and figures. You think that NYC isn’t already looking for ways to avoid a crisis that’s right around the corner? Why would they be concerned if it was just rhetoric? You think an increasing population will make less garbage by not recycling? I also have to ask, why would something as common sense as reusing something be some sort of wacko conspiracy of people running around shouting the sky is falling?

  10. You are, in fact, fearmongering — I just don’t buy into all the hype. We are simply not running out of space — we might be short on space in our densely populated area (especially space where people are willing to have landfills), but that does not equate to there being no place for cost-effective and environmenatlly sound landfills.
    Being efficient and reusing things is great. But sometimes reusing things actually increases greenhouse gasses, creates its own pollution problems or diverts public funds from more ecologically beneficial uses.

  11. eh? all what things are true? That Montclair runs garbage trucks 3 times a week — garbage, paper, containers — burning fuel the whole time, when half as many consolidated runs could do it all without recycling? That the cost of the extra personnel, equipment and fuel could maybe be diverted to municipal wind and solar power initiatives? Or (gasp) to lower taxes?

  12. illegal immigrants are swarming over us!, bird flu is coming!, our children play violent video games!, marijuana is a gateway drug!, other countries have better science education!, millions are without health insurance!, godless East Coast liberals want to abort your grandchild!, etc., etc., etc.
    True, every one of ’em.
    why would something as common sense as reusing something be some sort of wacko conspiracy of people running around shouting the sky is falling?
    Not a conspiracy, Duck, so much as people seeing what they want to believe without substantiating evidence. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine what happens to that bottle you put out for recycling. A truck has to come and pick it up, take it to the municipal trash depot, where it gets hauled to a recycling plant, where it’s ground up and melted and purified and processed and turned into raw material for another bottle. Or somesuch process that involves greenhouse-gas-belching trucks and energy-hungry plants. The operative question is, which causes more harm to the environment, having to make a new bottle from scratch or going through all the steps needed to recycle one? You seem to be pretty certain of the answer, but how do you know? Appletony has a 12 year old article. What do you have aside from good intentions and cherished beliefs?

  13. Good article.
    Perhaps we could go back to just doing aluminum cans, newspaper and office paper, since they seem to be the items in most demand.
    I remember when newspaper drives were used by the Boy Scouts as a way to make money.

  14. Are people for real? WTF is going on? Really, first its hip to be a nerd and now apparently people suffer from anxiety about tossing a coffee cup in a regular trash can? Really? This happens? I have not been bitten by that bug. Trash is trash and I refuse to get my knickers in a twist about tossing trash in a can. Which is far better than tossing it out the window of my car like I used to do in high school. Perhaps I should reinstate that so the tree-hugging, recycling, Earth-lovin hippies have something to do on the weekends after perfecting their composting piles and screening their nannies for gold teeth with $$.

  15. Good point Walleroo, the cost/carbon footprint between the two is complicated. One of my points is driving the efficiency towards recycling. Burying, burning or ocean dumping cannot sustain the population now, never mind more. AT & Ack (especially by not littering anymore, shame you did it at all) are perfect examples of the small picture, selfish outlook; what’s a friggin’ coffee cup gonna do? 1 cup, piece of paper, a plastic bottle, tv set….. not a problem, but 11,900 TONS a day just from just one city? (accurate figure according to NYC Dept. of Sanitation) The only way to lessen the load is one cup at a time.
    A good reference to the overall problem is:
    Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash
    by Elizabeth Royte

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