It amazes me that often times, when there is talk of a landfill coming to a particular neighborhood, the ones who are fastest to complain and shout the loudest are the one who don’t even recycle. Naturally few people enjoy having a landfill in their backyard, what with the unsightly appearance, the noise made by the machines creating the landfill, the bad smell and the prospect of lowering property value, not to mention the possibility of destroying the drinking water supply. However, for those who don’t recycle, do they really even have the right to complain?
A landfill is, in its simplest explanation, a hole in the ground filled with bags and bags of trash. Where do these bag come from? From the all the things that the average person throws away. People who recycle generally have fewer trash bags than those who don’t. As such, isn’t it a bit hypocritical for people who can’t be bothered to recycle, to complain about a landfill in their back yard, when they’re the ones adding the most to that very landfill?
Recycling is not rocket science, it’s not something that’s hard to do. Just set a recycling bin next to the garbage bin and when it comes time to throw something away, if it can be recycled, stick it in the recycling bin instead. For those who really don’t want to work at it, stick several recycling bins next to each other for paper, glass, and plastic to avoid even having to sort the recyclables later.
Many places that take garbage bags also take recyclables, conveniently labeled as paper, plastic and glass. Different places take different types of plastic, which are readily identifiable by the numbers on the bottoms of the containers (though it may require a call to the local recycling center to find out what numbers they will take). In cities recyclables can be by left by the road to be picked up like garbage. Most people are familiar with the recycling centers in grocery stores that give back a nickle for bottle returns. In fact, some states are even raising the cent return for bottle deposits to encourage recycling of these items.
There is really no excuse for not recycling, and certainly no point in complaining about the inevitable garbage landfills if people refuse to recycle. Simply put, if there’s a garbage dump coming to your neighborhood and you don’t like it, consider how much you’re contributing to it before you start moaning about it. The trash has to go somewhere eventually, and if you don’t recycle, then you really don’t have any right to complain.