I turned the corner and pulled up to the front of our house. Right smack in the front yard someone had taken the last sip of a Mountain Dew and flung the empty bottle onto our grass. “Why would someone do that?” I asked myself. We live in a neighborhood that dead-ends at the end of the road. More than likely the person that threw that bottle out the window was home by the time he or she got the window back up.
My first reaction was grumpiness. So I’m supposed to pick up other people’s trash just because they’re too inconsiderate and lazy to take it into the house and put it in their own garbage. Okay, well then that’s just what I have to do.
But wait a minute. This might not be such a bad event after all. We live in Oklahoma, a state that hasn’t caught up with modern trends as far as recycling goes. However, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, located here in Durant, Oklahoma has just started a major recycling program and announced that they’re “Going Green.” Not just are they going green, but they’re offering free recycling service to the entire community. They recycle plastics, (see where I’m going with this?,) batteries, used ink cartridges, cardboard, paper, magazines, aluminum cans, and metals. Everything except glass. All one has to do is separate the items, rinse them, and bring them in.
My wife is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The city of Pittsburgh has had a recycling operation going on there for a long time. The fact that Oklahoma for the most part does not have one has always bothered her. When she read that the Choctaw Nation was starting recycling, she was exuberant. We had been taking our aluminum cans to a local recycling place, but that’s all they took of what we had to recycle. Six months of saving cans would usually net us around $7.00. Obviously we weren’t doing it to get rich. So, what to do with these bottles…
As are all soda bottles, these are recyclable. We already have a collection box going in the garage for plastics. Not just any plastics, but an awful lot if them. We also pile up magazines, cardboard, and bag up aluminum cans ($$$) and other metal cans to take in for recycling. Note: It’s important to check the type of plastic.
Here’s a list of the numbers you want to look for that are recyclable. This info was taken from a Wiki on the net. This information is easy to find, and may include more types of plastic for a recycling center in your area.
These are the types of plastics that the Choctaw Nation recycles. They include soft drink, water and salad dressing bottles; peanut butter and jam jars, hula hoops, five gallon buckets, milk, juice and water bottles; the occasional shampoo / toiletry bottle, reusable microwaveable ware; kitchenware; yogurt containers; margarine tubs; microwaveable disposable take-out containers; disposable cups; plates and more. Look all on the bottom of the plastic you are considering throwing out. If it has an arrow-in-motion around a number like this one on the Mountain Dew bottle, consider doing something nice for our environment and recycle it (if you can.)
We are collecting all of our recycleable plastics in a big box lined with a plastic bag out in the garage. We rinse out our plastics as soon as we have emptied them. In fact, we clean them faster than we clean our dishes! If they’re going to collect out in our garage for a while, we don’t want to be inviting hungry little critters.
Here’s our collection boxes lined up in the garage. Don’t worry about that big white critter, that’s just our kitty boy Riley who has to check out everything.
So, what started out as a grumpy moment this morning turned into a grateful moment. Not to say that we’re glad that someone tossed their garbage into our yard, but it could have been worse. Since recycling is new in our area, this Mountain Dew bottle probably never would have been recycled if it had been taken home. It would probably would have gone to a garbage dump to sit for half of eternity. Hopefully this lesson learned also provided you a few moments of entertainment.
My fortune cookie thought of the day…
Some situations in life that make us grumpy could lead to gratefulness if we examined them in a different perspective.