Secrets Revealed: The Myth of Recycling

Posted: March 7, 2013 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , ,

by Tim Braun

Someone once said it to me very well –Christine, thank you– I pretty much live in a permanent state where I want to go and flick 98.5% of the Earth’s population right square in the head.  This is not something I’m particularly proud of, but it’s the hand of cards I’ve been dealt and I’m seriously considering medication for the affliction.  Actually, I don’t consider it an affliction – I consider it a rare insight into the true nature of human spirit – but my wife and kids disagree, so…..

My particular target today of head-flicking would be all of those people that are trying to force me to recycle.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against recycling.  When I was a kid and it was something simple like dumping an aluminum can into a separate basket and being done with it – then I was all for it.  But somehow over the years the scope of this movement has grown so complicated and ridiculous that it has completely backfired.  At least in my head-flicking mind.

Let’s first look a tiny little look at my work recycling spot.


The Tetris of Recyclables

The obvious first thought to me when I saw this is why do I have to play a game of Tetris to throw my trash away?  What’s with the odd shapes?  Do I actually have to throw things away in the correct bin to win a prize?  I think it’s just a Criss Angel Mindfreak kind of thing to see if we can find the right shape.  If you look closer, the sign over the large circle on the left proudly says:


Hamburger to Throw Away?


What constitutes a ‘food scrap’?  Do I have to measure the amount of food?  Is a scrap more than a morsel?  Less than a bit?  TOO MANY QUESTIONS!  For one example, take a pop tart wrapper.  Metallic.  Food scraps all willy-nilly over it.  Or not?   Am I going to be blamed for the Greenhouse Effect because I couldn’t noodle where to throw a pop tart wrapper?   I shouldn’t have to think to save the environment.  This is also a perfect example of the ‘Funnel Effect’.  All holes lead to one giant bin down in the basement of the building where you have maintenance people just sitting and laughing at all of us trying to separate things so carefully.

Another example of the Funnel Effect – Best Buy.  Take a gander at THIS catastrophe thrust upon you by our little friends in khakis and blue polo shirts:


The Mother of Recycling Pits

Seriously?  I have to separate rechargeable batteries from controllers from cords from plastic bags from the rest of my garbage.  First of all, I don’t ever think to myself – hey, this PS3 controller doesn’t work anymore – let me head over to Best Buy to throw it away.  Seems like it would take more gas to drive over there than it would cost to not recycle.  Just my opinion.  And you KNOW that the Funnel Effect is in full mode at this place.


Sort your own…..or ELSE!


Food places are also getting into it now – the one that always bothers me is Panera Bread (at left).  Not only do they separate some recyclables, but they also ask you to separate your dishes!  Knives and forks in one spot, plates in another.  Isn’t that what THEY are paid to do?  I can’t even get my kids to do that at home.



Finally, what the heck are commingled recyclables?  Isn’t that what Best Buy and my company are supposedly trying to avoid (although we’ve already proven they use the Funnel Effect)?  Yet here is clearly a sign that says they will ONLY take commingled recyclables and NO TRASH!  What the heck do I even do with that information?


And as you can see from the other sign, you can ONLY throw away seven plastic bottles at a time – any more than that and you’re screwed, but it WAS nice of them to count them off for you.  Also, I wasn’t aware we all had to be metallurgists to save the planet.  Do you know the difference between aluminum, tin, and magnesium?  Of course you don’t.  I had Milk of Magnesium once.  Threw up.

I’m not opposed to saving the planet.  I’m actually slightly for that.  I just think that all the bandwagoners out there that are separating trash all cattywampus-like are getting out of hand.  I just want to throw my Coke can in a hole and be done with it.  Is consistency too much to ask?  Doesn’t our planet deserve that?

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is why I like Popeye’s, they have the best tea & all your trash goes into one trash can!


  2. Linda says:

    Recycling makes me feel good – like I’m helping the environment. But it can be confusing. . . Linda


  3. Christine says:

    Example #1 is precisely the reason I have given up on recycling at the office….I now happily take my coffee stirrers back to my cube and discreetly throw them away in one of the two (?) trash cans under my desk. I can only assume one of the cans is intended for recycling, but seeing as how the cleaning crew only rolls around 1 trash can as they make their rounds in the evenings, I don’t feel a bit guilty about it.


  4. writerinsoul says:

    Yes! This’ll be one of the things eventually added to those depressing lists of how we spend our lives: 18 years sleeping, 15 watching TV, 6 waiting in line, 13 figuring out which bin for recyclables….


  5. Anonymous says:

    wow, you’r ignorant and lazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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