We had a near miss here in week two of the Clean Bin Project. Rhyannon “accidentally” bought a pair of panniers for her bicycle under the thinly-veiled excuse that it was a “transportation related” purchase (paying for transportation is ok under our rules). She did add that she felt a bit guilty about her purchase, and, being the protective roommates that we are, we berated her incessantly until she returned them. Luckily, I have far too much sporting equipment, and she is able to use one of my bike bags for the year. So she’s officially back on the wagon.
On the weekend we visited Happy Stan’s Recycling and were pleased to find that they pretty much take all types of paper, metal, electronics, and plastics (except Styrofoam) for recycling. They even take bottle caps and un-numbered plastics like the dental floss container I thought had to go in my garbage bin.
In the two months before the project officially started, we had been saving all our soft plastic wrappers just to see how much we had, and it turned out that we had accumulated two generously stuffed, pillow-sized bags of it! We’re happy that we can recycle it instead of tossing it in our bins, but we were awestruck by the actual volume of plastic and the thought that all of that had been going into the garbage for the past however many years.
The final consensus was that, although we can technically recycle soft plastics, the facility is quite far from our house and we think we can do better than producing one huge bag every month. So for now we’re going to try to reduce our soft plastics, and track how we’re doing a month at a time. Hopefully we can phase soft plastics out altogether. One thing I’m definitely not going to miss is washing out those bulk bags and cheese wrappers and trying to prop them open to properly dry.