Saturday, April 26, 2008

rant on recycling

Rant on Recycling and How it Doesn’t always work out like you want it to.

I suppose everyone says the same thing but sometimes I ask myself if I am the only person on the planet who really understands what’s going on. We got a letter from the local authority advising us on how to recycle. This is great. I’m all in favour of recycling, well at least in theory. When we used to live at the other house (25 minutes up a steep path close to where we live now), we had to carry everything on foot up to it. So before the ascension we took off all the plastic wrapping and boxes and anything else that was superfluous and put it in one of the plastic shopping bags in which the Auchan supermarket so helpfully, put them. We used to fill up an entire plastic bag with plastic bags and general packaging at each shop-up. Of course bottles had to be carried up but, environmentally conscious, we would buy glass when possible instead of the lighter plastic and lug it up the hill paying little heed to the extra weight, happy in the knowledge that it was all recyclable. When we’d consumed whatever it was the bottles and jars contained we would wash them, and put them in a big box. When we had enough to fill a rucksack we would fill the rucksack and hump it down 20 minutes on foot and take it to the recycling bin. We did this for ages months, maybe even a year then….yes there’s always a then, isn’t there? Then one day as I was driving down to turin I happened to get stuck behind a glass recycling lorry. Curious to note that it had a skin-coloured plastic elephant hanging from the back, in the style of summary pachyderm execution. I followed it down toward the dump. Just before the dump I saw a metal-detecting friend getting into his car in a sort of layby. I pulled over (after of course checking my rearview mirror and indicating correctly) and we stood chatting about coins and stuff. About ten minutes later glancing over towards the rubbish dump, the rubbish mountain I should say, my attention was grabbed by a large glass recycling lorry replete with pink elephant driving up on to the top of the domesitic rubbish heap. The back began to raise and the lorry dumped its entire load of glass bottles that should have been taken to a glass dump, on to the normal dump. No attempt was even made to cover it up. It just lay there glinting in the sun for all and sundry to see. I suddenly stopped recycling and probably single handedly raised the rubbish mountain by a foot at least over the next year.Anyway, to return to the question in hand. The local authority send us a leaflet, well more of a booklet really, explaining to us how to recycle. I openen the booklet hopefull in seeing some revolutionary idea of the council’s new recycling policy or some such. The first page contained some statistics. I don’t rememeber exactly what the statistics were but I just remember that one of the first lines said that each family of Italians produces X amount of rubbish per month. Wait a minute. The families produce the rubbish. I seem remember cursing vehemently every time I had to spend 10 minutes removing layers of useless plastic crap from products that didn’t need it. I don't want it on there. In England I remember buying a certain make of bikkies which came in a simple plasticky wrapping and, as a national favourite, I seem to remember is sold quite well. You would always find a packet if you went round for coffee to someone’s house. But here is sunny Italy, the same biscuit, by the same manufacturer was wrapped in individual portions, i.e. 4 or 5 biscuits in a plastic wrapper, four of these to a pack, placed in a plastic tray which was inserted in another plastic wrapper, put in a box and then the box sealed in a vaccum-packed outer plastic wrapper. All this tied together with another box of the same held together by a plastic wrapper and sold with a bloody tea cup as a free gift. What they hell does anyone want a free bloody tea cup for? I ask you! Is this normal to you. You get in your car, you drive down to the shop consuming petrol, polluting the atmosphere and adding to congestion and carbon imprint, you park your car, walk over to the shop consuming kilojoules and calories and such like risking death as you cross the road and you go into the shop and wait for 20 minutes in a queue behind fat ladies in slippers and housecoats chatting about grandsons and dog food and believe it or not (recently because of the Olympics) Ice hockey and all for what, all to get a packet of bikkies to go with your coffee. But can you get just a pack of bikes, no, you have to buy two and have a cup that you don’t want thrown in to the bargin. So what do you do? Easy. You don’t buy the famous make of biscuit and you go for some other apology from the biscuit shelf, made in italy and with just the same ammount of packaging but with only one packet of biscuits and no cup.So you have all this plastic packaging and people get their letters from the council and then they say to each other that its “terrible isn’t it, each family produces X kilos of rubbish per month…including us, terrible”. The TV and radio and papers and books and just about everybody says the same thing and shout inwardly, "no, that’s not true". I ask the universe, God and the like and angels and stuff “don’t they realize that WE don’t produce all this rubbish?" "THEY do!!". The companies. Those in the know keep encouraging us to reduce rubbish production, they even charge us more for dealing with it, everyone pays and I slide to my knees and turn my face to the sky and mentally scream why don’t they see it. It-is-so-bloody-obvious.
It’s like this whole car problem thing. Italy has no-pollution days. Always Sunday. The only day you get free from sticking little bits of plastic under a press in your factory and you can’t drive your car. You can’t go anywhere. Oh fine, you can ride you bike, walk, roller-skate even. But you have to do all this in the city, where there’s pollution!! Now not everyone of course is restricted. Friends of people in the know, taxis, heavily polluting buses, each of which probably equals the output of pollutants of half a dozen private cars (which have to undergo stringent exhaust fume tests and whose owners also have to pay for the priviledge), the boyfriend of the cousin of the wife of the man who cleans the toilets at the Municipal police station and so on, they can all drive. You can't.
Everyone knows how to solve the problem. Make public transport more efficient. Nobody does anything. It’s the same with speeding. And here I’m afraid I’m probably going to have to stop. I have to get the kitchen tidied up before she who must be obeyed get's home.Today's rant over. It's good this though. Maybe nobody will read it but as a friend said, it gets it out of your system. AAAaaahhhhhhhh!!

1 comment:

Woozle said...

Don't know how this works so i'm trying it out myself. Excellent blog Woozle. My compliments!! Do you know about punctuation?!