First published in Blogs - home Croydon Guardian: Static HTML image by

With the important stuff sorted out on the new websites, I can get back to the very important business of ranting about things that annoy me. This week – recycling.

Don't get me wrong, I love recycling – it means that we don't have to empty the bin as often, and of course it's eradicated that horrible feeling of guilt when I had to throw plastics in the bin (knowing that they will go straight to landfill and sit there for a few thousand years). Yes, I'm an avid recycler, though I am not a sack-cloth wearing hippy.

Now, the main point of my rant: people who recycle in the most inconsiderate way possible. It's like they're saying "Fine, I'll recycle – just don't expect me to make any effort". I became aware of this issue when I saw my neighbours' recycling boxes. Magazines in the purple box, non-recyclable plastic, lids left on every bottle (which weren't even flattened)... and NOTHING was washed out. So besides stinking wine bottles and encrusted old pizza boxes, there were several rancid milk bottles curdling in the midday sun.

At what point do they cross that fine line between recycling and garbage? I wonder how the recycling collectors feel about picking up smelly rubbish by hand (when that wasn't the job that they signed up for) – and what about the lucky people on minimum wage who have the privilege of sifting through all the rancid food? What a fantastic way to really make someone's job that little bit more demeaning and unpleasant.

Their inconsiderate recycling also creates other problems: the wrong type of material can destroy a whole batch of recycling - which will then have to be sent to landfill.

So, basically: if you can't be bothered to recycle properly, then do us a favour and don't recycle at all.


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