"Anyone that doesn't agree with leggings as pants can physically fight me.
And I'm going to win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I am wearing leggings as pants."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Reduce, Reuse—Hey, You Gonna Get Rid of That?"

I had to post part of this article because I so wish that we had an actual program like this. I totally suggest heading over to The Onion if you have several hours to spend and need a good laugh.

Dept. Of Sanitation Asks Public To Separate Perfectly Good Stuff From Garbage

WASHINGTON—Nearly 20 years after launching its first nationwide recycling program, the Department of Sanitation unveiled a new environmental initiative Monday that urges citizens to separate perfectly good stuff, such as old toasters and empty picture frames, from the rest of their weekly trash.

"For far too long, Americans have been throwing out working lamps, expensive coasters, and those nice wooden shelves along with their regular trash," Sanitation Secretary Frank DiPietro told reporters at a press conference. "This wasteful practice not only threatens our environment, but it also forces certain individuals who, say, need a new ottoman to rummage through piles and piles of dirty garbage."

"Just look at this coffee table, for instance," added DiPietro. "It's not even all that cracked."

"Each and every person can make a difference when it comes to helping the environment," said Shelley Manning, a sanitation operations coordinator. "Especially if that person has one of those Dustbuster machines they're going to throw away—you know, the kind that picks up bread crumbs and then you can empty the canister when it gets full? Oh, and some sturdy sconces. If somebody has those, they would also be helping out the environment a ton."

An internal study conducted by the department suggests that the new program may reduce landfills by 25 percent, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent, and lessen the chances of having to go out and buy an overpriced mattress by nearly 60 percent. In addition, the report—which was published on the back of some perfectly fine dot-matrix printer paper found next to a Dumpster—reveals that for every dented filing cabinet claimed by the new program, an estimated $45 in nonrenewable cash is saved.

Second Hand Items

Just so you know I'm not kidding about how much I'd love this program, here's a picture of some 'not even all that cracked' stuff that I've found. The sheets were from the thrift store (and later turned into fabric grocery bags), but the cubbies were pure curbside, baby.

I just realized that this is the perfect post to mention Trash Pickins, a fantastic group on Flickr (which I found via Soule Mama, I think). They've got some great stuff over there. This one, in particular, is unbelievable.


AmyDe said...

Kind if funny and kind of cool (in a sort of creepy way) all at the same time. I mean I get it and all, but don't they know it's illegal to resell (and I would hope GIVE to someone other than your kids) old mattresses - GROSS! Thanks for sharing - I think grin

Kathi D said...

What a good idea!

Around here, we have a variation on that. Set your item in front and put a "FREE" sign on it. Somebody always comes along and picks it up. (We are rural, so nobody freaks out if we have something out front for a while.)

Wendy said...

Amyde, I thought it meant that separating out the usable stuff from the real trash would help us trash-pickers get stuff for free and keep it out of the landfill not that they were going to sell it. And, yes, I've brought home my share of items from the curb. Oh, that reminds me, there's a group on Flickr for just this sort of thing. I'd better go add it to the post.

And although I've never taken a used mattress from a stranger, and do sort of think that it would be gross, I have no qualms what-so-ever about sleeping at a hotel. How many different people do you think have slept on the average hotel bed, under the same unwashed comforter? I'll try not to think about it the next time I'm away from home. ;)

Renee Unplugged - said...

Add me to the trash picker list.
I can't tell you how many times I've made my husband turn around to go get something.
I've gotten some of the BEST stuff that way...
AND you should look into Freecycle.
I've been doing that in my area now for about 3 years. Its AWESOME!
I wish I had known about it the last time I moved - I put a ton of usable stuff at the curb and prayed for people to come pick it up...with freecycle you send out an email with a list of the stuff and people respond who want it - you tell them where to come to get it etc...

Amanda said...

There actually is a program something like that in Alaska. When my husband lived in Alaska (in North Pole) there was no dump. There was a transfer station. That's where the residents take their bags of trash but they also take anything else they don't want anymore and other people can look through it (without digging illegally through a mound of trash bags) for stuff they want. It's pretty much exactly what the Onion posted. pretty cool, I think. Too bad they don't do that everywhere. :(