Too much garbage


Recently our office converted to a recycling scheme, and we require our staff to separate their recyclables from their non-recyclables. Most of them do it; some don’t. This shocks me. Don’t they care? Don’t they understand?



That’s one issue. Then there’s the issue of the volume of the garbage we produce.



Partner and I, between the two of us, produce at least three or four thirteen-gallon bags of garbage per week.  What is it? Newspapers. Food waste.  Food containers and boxes. Wrapping paper. Plastic bottles. Junk mail. Waste tissues, and paper towels, and napkins. I took a bag out to the garbage this evening, and it weighed at least ten pounds, and it was maybe two days’ worth of kitchen garbage.



Partner and I aren’t doing this on purpose, I swear. Nothing is going into the garbage that we can reuse or repurpose. I try to do everything I can to reduce waste. I minimize wrapping. We take our own reusable bags to the grocery store. I buy perfectly normal groceries.



And yet we’re producing garbage like hooligans.



What the hell’s wrong with us?

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

4 Responses to Too much garbage

  1. starproms says:

    Interesting. In my part of the world we have to separate plastic, newspapers, tin cans, etc. and we have a separate bin to use for the purpose. So I have a black bin for usual rubbish, a green bin for recyclable rubbish and a brown bin for garden waste. That’s fine and I do it, without thinking these days, but those bins have to live somewhere and they are an eyesore in my front garden. Not only that but they have to be collected and that takes energy. Then the rubbish has to be sorted and that takes more energy. I sometimes wonder if the energy used to collect and process is worth it.
    My neighbour moved to Thailand and his observations were remarkable. He says they recycle everything there, even plastic drinks bottle. They have a use for everything. I think we can learn a lot from that part of the world.
    I know you do your bit and so do I. I could do better. I try and find uses for things I am about to throw away but we are short of space here and I don’t have storage space available to keep all the things I want to keep.

    • We do our bit too, but I don’t think we do enough. Packaging is so excessive: everything comes double- or triple-packaged, and I start throwing away packaging as soon as we get home from shopping. But you’re right: we recycle, but we could recycle a lot more.

      • starproms says:

        Packaging is the bane of my life. I have to fight to get into everything these days and some of the packages are downright dangerous.

      • It happened again today: we did our weekly grocery shopping, and I was unwrapping things and throwing the excess packaging away even as I was putting things away. It’s all very well-meaning, but it’s a little ridiculous.

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