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Oct. 30 2009 — 1:36 am | 16 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Why recycling is a pain: Arcane municipal rules

a neighbourhood recycling station/centre seen ...

Image via Wikipedia

Every so often, I’m going to mention one of the reasons why recycling, something everyone should be doing, is sometimes too much of a pain in the tush to make it worth the hassle.  Some people, like me, suck it up and try to follow the rules as closely as possible (and often fail). Others just say, “screw it,” and throw their bottles, paper and cardboard in the trash.

When I see a plastic bottle fall out of a trash dumpster, I always want to curse the laziness of the person responsible. But, then I have to remind myself that, while the people who don’t recycle generally just don’t give a rat’s patoot about the planet, there’s a reason for their laziness.

Read the recycling guidelines of the county I live in, and you’ll get the idea. Somerset County in New Jersey actually has one of the more aggressive recycling programs in the state, but the rules they impose on the average citizen can make anyone’s head spin.

Here are but a couple of examples of what they want the average harried suburban housewife or househusband to do in order to make sure everything gets properly recycled:

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Oct. 26 2009 — 9:57 am | 1 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Green scrounging: good for the planet and the wallet

SAN FRANCISCO - APRIL 22:  A tractor drives th...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’ll admit it. I drive my fiancée crazy. Oh, sure, I drive her crazy for all the usual boyfriend/husband/fiance reasons. But there’s something else about me that drives her nuts, and I’m proud to cop to it: I don’t like to throw things away.

That’s not to say that I never throw anything away. There’s a fine line between being a saver and having to tunnel from your kitchen to the living room like one of the people on the horrifying but mesmerizing A&E program Hoarders. But when most people see a piece of clothing or furniture or something that would normally just get tossed in a landfill, I see something that can be put to better use somewhere else. And that’s the advice I’m going to impart to you, fine True/Slant readers.

Don’t worry; I’m not going to give you tips on how to make your old sneakers into planters or how to turn the plastic soda bottles in your house into a big eco-friendly bouncy toy for your toddler. I’m just going to scour the Internet and talk about ways to reuse your stuff — or get rid of it — that will a) be more environmentally-friendly than throwing the stuff in the trash and b) won’t make you look like a cross between Ed Begley Jr. and Fred Sanford in the process. I’ll be mixing in my own experiences, as well (I actually got rid of my mattress on Freecycle, for instance… no joke).

I’ll also talk about why being environmentally responsible is such a pain in the butt and what hoops companies and governments make us go through just so we can feel better about disposing of  our junk.

I’m always looking for ways to give away or recycle my crap, get something cool for little or nothing, and generally figure out how to divest myself of the clutter in my life without tossing it all in a landfill. So I hope doing this blog will give me some new ideas, too.

This is a big topic to explore, so if there’s anything you’ve been dying to know — or you’ve found ways to scrounge your way green that I haven’t mentioned — give me a shout.

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    About Me

    I am the editor in chief of the AOL blog TV Squad. My writing about pop culture, food, and travel has appeared in the New York Times, New Jersey Monthly, Cinematical, and Radar Online.

    Even after writing about TV for five years, I still haven't figured out how to write off a 50" plasma TV on my taxes.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 4
    Contributor Since: September 2009
    Location:Central New Jersey