Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Carbon Fast for Lent, Day 3: Recycling

The First Tuesday in Lent
“Are you recycling everything possible? Really — everything? Look into it today.”

When I lived in Brooklyn in the 90s (before curbside recycling), a neighborhood group organized a collection center at a nearby school and accepted recyclables on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Since “Today is the third Saturday” is very easy to forget, our apartment had months’ worth of plastic containers stacked like petrochemical found-art in every corner. When I moved into Manhattan the closest monthly recycling project was in Greenwich Village (60 blocks downtown), which meant a schlep on the subway with bags of rinsed-out plastic containers. By the time NYC finally began curbside recycling, I was already a convert.

My apartment building here in the land of snow contracts with a commercial recycling service that takes everything glass, metal, all forms of paper, plastics labeled 1 to 7 — and I think actually accepts more types of items than our city’s curbside program. The giant recycling bin is picked up regularly and never runs out of room. Its pretty painless, and I am a very happy recycler.

I’ve been trying to figure out if there
s anything we’re not recycling. Most of the trash is food scraps and coffee grinds; I need to figure out if the local community garden lets neighbors compost. (Assuming this winter ever, ever ends.) But I also realized we do throw away disposable batteries, which is supposed to be a Very Bad Thing. For today’s Carbon Fast for Lent activity, I’m going to figure out what we’re really supposed to do with the AAs. I’ll let you know!

Todays mitzvah: Join us on the Carbon Fast for Lent!

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