Recycling fun

Last week I decided a clear out of my office was long overdue so I gathered bin liners, rubber gloves and cloths together, took a deep breath and got started.

I went through teetering piles of paperwork which had been in danger of toppling over, sorted through shelves, cleaned out drawers and put each item either in the recycling box, through the shredder or in a pile for throwing out.  So far, so good.  Eventually I could see the surface of my desk, I found documents I thought might have been lost for ever and, gradually, as the room started to clear so did my brain.

I was finally satisfied that it was as good as it was going to get so I placed the pile for throwing out in a bin liner along with the paper from the shredder and gave Ash that bag to put into the general waste bin (black) and the other stuff into the recycling bin (grey).  Remember those two things because they are significant to this story.

The next day I took some magazines out to the grey bin, lifted the lid and found all sorts of non-recyclable stuff in there.  I gazed into the bin completely bewildered until I realised that Ash had looked into the bin bag I'd given him, seen shredded paper and decided it needed to go into recycling.  Now I don't know about where you live, but here shredded paper can't be recycled but as far as Ash was concerned it was paper and he knew exactly which bin was for paper.

The real difficulty was that he'd emptied the entire contents of that bag into the recycling bin and some of it (a quantity of small sea shells comes to mind here) had fallen through the bigger stuff at the top.  Something had to be done so I emptied as much of the bin as I could reach onto a pile on the ground before tipping it over and practically climbing inside to remove everything I could find which wasn't recyclable.  Eventually I had everything out that I needed so I replaced all the cardboard and plastic then put the shells etc into the black bin and we were good to go.

Except the story doesn't quite end there.  The next day I took some magazines out to the bin for recycling, opened the lid and found myself staring at a heap of shredded paper.  Ash had obviously seen it in the black bin where I'd placed it, decided it was in the wrong bin and put it in the 'right' one.  I moved it back and very quickly put something on top of it to hide it from view.

Is there any wonder that sometimes my brain scrambles a little!

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Carol S. said…
This is a constant challenge for me too - only with us it is plastic cartons ( our recyclers now only accept bottles) and paper towels/tissues. It all adds to the wonderful ways my partner helps me practise patience 🤪. ( or stretches it to the limit 🤣)
CW said…
Chuckling like a mad hatter here... LOL Seriously, I could visualize you pulling things out of the bin--Robert takes care of our trash on Tuesday mornings, going around the house and emptying all of the trash cans into one bag and taking that out to the rolling trash bin to be put out at the curb for emptying by the trash service truck. Part of you (I imagine) wants to give him credit for knowing that the paper is recyclable, but at the same time wanting to pull your hair out because shredded paper ISN'T recyclable. Same thing here... Oh my... thanks for the chuckle. Just amazing.
Jane said…
At least I knew better than to tell him he'd get it wrong and to be fair, it's really hard to know what goes in which bin aa they seem to be different in every part of not only the country as a whole but in this county too. Why can't it be the same across the board?
CFR said…
My husband taught high school science, of which Environmental Science was one of the classes. He would personally walk from classroom to classroom and gather the recycling every week, to make sure that no cans or plastic went into the garbage. Now, with each piece of recycling and bag of garbage, he asks me which container to put it in, black or yellow. Sometimes it's as many as 10 time a day, "which one does this go in"? It makes me so sad to see him struggle with something that used to be somewhat of a passion for him
Jane said…
I get that feeling every time someone comes to do a job in the house that Ash would once have done without thinking. The very saddest part for me is that he doesn't even realise that he's lost those skills and doesn't think it in the least odd that I now have to ask others.