In 1989 when I initiated and coordinated Recycle Signal, the goal wasn’t to move materials around so we could excuse our over-consumptive buying habits. Volunteers for Recycle Signal had parents and grandparents who lived through the Great Depression. We were brought up to appreciate the roof over our head and daily food on the table. We gave thanks before we ate.
In designing Recycle Signal, my hope was that the continuing education program for all ages complemented by a park-like, family-friendly, educational drop off center, would generate commitment to future generations. This commitment would go beyond doing only that which was convenient, it meant going out of our way to leave things in better shape then we found them.
I’d love to see an inter-generational team that produced ideas on ways to save resources/landfill space by reducing, reusing, repairing, restoring, etc. We’re being programmed to buy stuff that is used only once and briefly, then tossed into a recycle bin.
Recycling requires lots of energy, and should be our last diversion option. How much is your community being paid for the paper, plastic, and metal being collected? If you aren’t being paid, your recycling program isn’t being run right.