Get answers to your questions about waste diversion from ‘The Recycle Guy’Edward George Bulwer-Lytton wrote the famous phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
By: By Steve Christen/The Recycling Guy, Superior Telegram
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton wrote the famous phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
I say, “it all depends on who is holding the pen.”
When I mentioned that I was going to pen a column on recycling for the Superior Telegram, none of my sword wielding compadres broke a sweat.
This is the first of a monthly column that is going to explore the many facets of recycling as it relates to those living in Superior and surrounding counties in northwest Wisconsin.
We will be exploring current recycling practices, upcoming trends and some fun facts. From time to time, we will visit with local companies and find out how they have practiced landfill diversion, by searching and sometimes even creating recycling markets.
We will talk to local government and business people who are continually looking for new opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle.
My name is Steve “The Recycling Guy” Christen. My brother Leroy and I own and operate Always Available Roll Off Service here in Superior. Having grown up in the refuse industry and seeing the changes we as a society have gone through over the last 50 years makes me realize that changes and innovations are only going to continue.
In days gone by, it was assumed that if you didn’t want an item you put it out on the curb and you called the city or loaded it up in trailer and off to the dump it went. Through time, we found out that just dumping our used and discarded items began to affect our environment. Ground water became polluted, soils were contaminated and slowly we began to see the effects on agriculture and wildlife. In the past, when we first started to recycle, it was common to see the garbage truck make pickups weekly and the recycling truck came around once a month.
Now many families recycle more material than they dispose of.
How far away is the day when the recycling truck comes weekly and the garbage truck makes it’s once a month pickup at your home or business?
In order to make this column pertinent to the residents of Superior and northwest Wisconsin, I’m soliciting your questions or comments on recycling and waste reduction. Please send all correspondence to the email address at the bottom of this article.
Fun Facts from the Recycling and Refuse Industry
There is proposed bill in the New York legislature that would make it a felony to assault a garbage collector. (It must be tough to be a garbage man in New York)
In York Maine, the very first bridge installed on a U.S. public highway, made of 100 percent recycled plastics, was completed in December.
According to the Phoenix-based newspaper “Arizona Republic” The National Park Service is banning the sale of bottled water at all park facilities. Plastic water bottles make up 30 percent of all trash found in the Grand Canyon’s waste stream and is the largest source of garbage found in the Canyon itself. Visitors will be encouraged to fill water containers at 10 water-filling stations on the South Rim and at three locations on the North Rim. Retailers at the park can still sell plastic bottles of soda and juice however.
In closing this initial effort to heighten your interest in recycling and waste diversion, there is a question I’ll ask you. If I were to ask a room full of people if they recycled five pounds of material a week just about everyone would raise their hands. If I asked how many recycled 10 pounds, a few hands would go down, and more would go down with 15 or 20 pounds weekly. But then if I were to ask you how many of you “buy back” the 5, 10 or 20 pounds in the form of recycled products that you place curbside weekly, could I expect to see the same hands in the air? Remember recycling is loop. If we don’t buy products in recycled packaging were not closing the loop.
The old Crumudgeon.
Send questions and comments to “The “Recycle Guy” at firstname.lastname@example.org.