Monday, February 21, 2011

Papers and plastics and glass- oh my!

The power is yours.

Anyone recognize that line? Think early to mid 90's Saturday morning cartoon lineup. I'll give you a hint: Looting and polluting is not the way. That's right, now you've got it. Hear what Captain Planet has to say.

What a dumb premise for a cartoon. But then again, aren't they all? Looking back in the midst of talking pastel stuffed bears and insufferable feeble minded mechanical detectives, the idea of a super hero saving the planet from environmental disaster wasn't too far off. Seemed to really catch on in Germany at least. One of the things Husband and I are still getting used to, besides not having a garbage disposal, is the mandatory recycling. While I've never made a point to vigorously recycle in the past as it was seldom free and never convenient, here we don't have much of a choice unless we want to haul bags of our own sticking refuse from our apartment onto base where we can inconspicuously deposit our unsorted trash in the dumpsters. Unfortunately that requires the unsavory task of driving around with bags full of garbage in the trunk of the car. The other day one was leaking, so you can imagine how fun it is.

For the record, and I'm sure you saw this coming, I'm not inherently opposed to recycling, and I'm happy to recycle if the ability is offered with some measure of convenience. Luckily, here at homestead Guten Strudel it is, as there are dumpsters in the communal garage for regular trash, newspaper, other paper and (from the smell of things) food scraps. I can't confirm the later, though, as I haven't yet mustered up the gumption to open the lid on what I suspect to be the compost bin. The visible cloud of miasma is off-puting. I'm kind of surprised that there isn't a place for plastics and glass, but having not yet mastered the command of the German language I'm not sure how to inquire about the other recyclable goods...nor do I really care to. 

I was a bit concerned when our landlord, upon our first meeting, mentioned at least 7 times that we must recycle our trash or bear the wrath of the cantankerous old caretaker who daily inspects the contents of the dumpster to insure tenant compliance with the mandatory recycling. However, I was really alarmed when I met said caretaker, who actually turned out to be quite affable despite the language barrier, and he gave a hearty guffaw and vigorously nodded in agreement when I mimed slitting my throat if we didn't properly recycle as we passed by the trash bins on the apartment tour. He seemed to really like the idea. Point taken.

So now we recycle! Imagine that. We've been doing pretty good, and have yet to receive even one threat of physical violence, so I guess we've got the gist. Just to be on the safe side, though, I'm still throwing my trash out in the middle of the night.

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