Recycling is my albatross. What's yours?

yeonaskyNovember 23, 2005

I never seem to get all the recycling done, and the composting is another area that I dream of doing, but never get to. I wash out the cans but never de-lid and crush them. I put the newspapers in bags but never get around to composting or recycling them. I also store the other recycling things and compostables, (in the freezer), but never ever dispose of them properly. Oh the guilt. Oh the clutter. Everything piles up for a month or so until DH does a recycling run. I have curbside pickup but don't seem to be able to take the necessary steps to get things out there. I find carrying the stuff down the steep stairs a real chore these days, and don't have much energy for things anyway. Any words of wisdom? Any daily ways to trick myself into taking care of my albatross? Do you have any luck chipping away at your whatever?



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Do you have the right "tools" to simplify the task? A designated spot to put the items that need recycling? Do the cans have to be crushed? (We crush ours becasue we need the space.)

For the most part, the kids are in charge of recylcing here. If you don't have kids is there a neighborhood kid you could ask to stop by 2x a week (one day being on curb recyling day) to keep things managable? It would be minimum time and effort and a "job" many a 12-year-old might like to have.

My own personal albatross is laundry. Washing, hanging/drying, folding, getting everyone to put theirs away. This cycle is never completed before the next load is going into the machine. For once, I'd like to see the hampers and machines empty and all of the clothes in dressers. It's been years (maybe even since I lived with my Mom!)

Good luck with that recycling.

Maura :-)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 8:20AM
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We also have curbside recycling and I keep the bin just outside my backdoor where it's easy to toss in cans (we don't have to crush them, though), bottles, etc. I keep a paper bag by the back door for newspapers, magazines, and junk mail which all goes into the bin at the end of the week. My DH is in charge of dragging it all to the curb with the trash cans.

My albatross is also laundry. I wash it, dry it, fold it, but somehow never manage to put it away. I'll finally get to it after the basket has been ransacked by both kids looking for clean jeans and the whole thing is a mess again. Don't know why, but I just can't efficiently or consistently complete that last step!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 8:47AM
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What would happen if you stopped trying?

Just toss the recyclables and compostables into the trash and be done with it.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 10:02AM
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Thanks for the thoughts. LG I'd have to pay for the garbage if I put out everything. We're allowed 2 garbage cans a week.

For me laundry isn't a big deal anymore. I've decluttered clothes to that point and my adult kids take care of their own stuff. Since everyone else in my home has outside work, (my DH and I have two home based businesses, and I'm in the office mostly) and school, the recycling falls to me. I want to be a good little recycling girl, but sometimes I wish I could just toss the whole mess, and keep tossing it.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 12:43PM
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My albatross doesn't happen on a daily basis, yet it still gets me in a mess.

When I start some new hobby or craft I want ALL the gadgets and supplies. So fun to gather them up and read about all of the "future" ideas.

Right now, I've been making wool rugs. I have all of the old out of print books I can find, three types of cones and clamps and enough wool to cover my house wall to wall with rugs.

Once I get past the fun of the learning curve, I'm usually ready to move on to something else. I end up with the stuff piled in my space and all I can think of is how much money I have spent.

It takes me a couple of years, but I usually pitch and just consider it entertainment value for my $$$.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 2:20PM
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Hi Yeonasky,
I applaud you for the recycling effort. I'm the same way. If I didn't recycle and reuse things, my house would be so much less cluttered. But I figure it's the least I can do for the environment. We live way out in the country, and I have to save all my stuff up, until there's a bunch, then drive it to town. We don't have a garage, and stuff would collect in our little entranceway. I finally bought one of those Rubbermaid deck boxes for the porch, and now I keep it all out there, until I can make the trip. Is there any one place you can keep all your's 'til it goes to recycling?
I know it's frustrating, but I think it's great that you're tolerating the clutter, for the sake of the environment!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 4:27PM
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I use curbside every week for our recycling. We tend to have more than anyone else on our block! I keep a grocery bag under the kitchen sink where I can throw recyclables. When it's full, I put it out in the garage by the door. Within the week I usually have 4-5 bags, plus other miscellaneous recylables. On garbage/recycling day I place all the bags in one of the 3 recycling bins and haul them to the curb. Soon we will have one large can on wheels to toss ALL our recycling (won't need to be sorted). I can't wait!

My albatross is picking up after myself. I leave little hotspots. Sometimes I can go on a good streak and do real well, but other times - like now - I struggle with it. This moment I have a stack of preschool evaluations I'm working on, my crochet project in a chair, a stack of CDs on my computer desk that I am hoping to burn soon, a bag of books that need to be taken back to the library...oh, I can go on and on. I need to get back with my routines again and hit those hot spots on a regular basis!


    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 1:42AM
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Hmmmmmmmm ... can you go upstream on the source of the garbage and recyclables to decrease the amount that enters until it fits in the 2 cans a week? If it doesn't get in, it doesn't leave.

Cancel subscriptions
Buy less packaged food

Another approach would be to stop saving it up - don't let it live in the house. Make it a rule that all trash, compostables and recyclables have to stay on the counter (in plain view) until they are in the appropriate receptacle.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 10:03AM
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Thanks LG and others. Some good ideas and thoughts. I can get rid of some of the newspapers, but prepacked stuff is harder. I only buy ww pasta, but can't get that in bulk. The rest of the stuff is cereal boxes etc, for my busy family, and basic canned tomato sauce, which I use a lot it seems. Otherwise it's bulk and made from scratch all the way. So with my family of four's, and two of each, dogs and cats, particular needs food wise I don't think I can reach 2 cans a week. But I could pare it down quite a bit, so thanks for helping me think outside my recycling box. The recyclables sit outside on an unused deck, which has no stair access to the back yard, so at least they're not inside my home, but I think its a case of out of sight out of mind to a certain extent.

I've gotten my personal items pared down to the real necessities by now and so find putting away my things to be a snap. I still like my chachkis so have to watch that I don't impulse buy, unless it haunts me as I'm leaving it at the store. In that case I put it on hold, go have a tea, and decide what to get rid of right then to bring it into my home.



    Bookmark   November 24, 2005 at 5:28PM
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