File this one under “Epic Rants.” But you’ll see, I have a point and it stems from my great love of liberty and individual freedom. Hang on to your hats and glasses folks: I’m a pissed off, conservative housewife and I’m about to unleash.
So I’m working in my home office the other day, you know, earning a living so I can pay for things like my mortgage, food, gas, clothing, anti-Obama bumper stickers, unicorns, Ruger pistols, etc. and I hear this series of loud noises outside my window. I get up to investigate and I notice a massive truck with what has to be 75 large (40 Gal) brand new trashcans on the bed of the truck.
The first thought in my mind: “Ooh pretty! New trashcans! Maybe we are getting our old ugly forest green ones replaced with these pretty gray and blue ones!” Then the second thought occurred to me after about 30 more seconds of observation and I said in my best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice: “That’s no trashcan: it’s a recycling bin.” My fellow Star Wars fans know exactly what I’m referring to.
Anyhow, I saw the gentlemen from the trash and recycling company hauling off these bins/cans one by one and placing them on various driveways on my street. It dawned on me that they were not replacing our trashcans, nor were they replacing the small blue recycling bins we were given years ago. They were forcibly upgrading us to now use the large-and-in-charge-Marge bins. (Yeah I just made that up, but now that’s my new name for this atrocious, extraneous piece of plastic on my property).
I called my husband who was downstairs, also working from home (Yes, I know – I’m incredibly blessed to be able to work at home side by side with my better half. I am truly, truly blessed.) Anyway, he confirmed that indeed we were receiving the “gift” of a massive recycling bin whether or not we wanted it.
Now, here is where my problem lies- I do not recycle. I have several reasons for not recycling – some of which look a lot like the word “lazy.” Others involve my own research and determining that reducing my carbon footprint by recycling is not always offset by the multiple trips a large diesel truck takes down my street to collect the menial bits of recycling my neighbors do, but I digress. You can totally hate me for not doing it. I don’t really give a rat’s ass if you do. I don’t hate animals, the planet, the environment, etc. (In fact, one peek in my backyard and you’ll see I’m gardening and harvesting my own fruits and vegetables which means I’m living independently off the Earth… or am I preparing for the apocalypse that is the pending doom of a 2nd Obama administration? Guess you’ll have to come visit and find out my real reason for gardening!)
Bottom line is: It is my choice not to recycle. Not everyone has that choice – Washington D.C. and other cities, like on New York’s Long Island (h/t @repub9989) actually fine you if they catch you putting your trash and recycling together. Don’t even get me started on the injustice THAT is to the citizens of these towns. But in my Home Owners Association and in my smaller town, recycling is STILL MY CHOICE to participate in or not.
I’m more than a little pissed off that I am now forced to house this huge waste of space in my already cramped house. Folks, I live in a one car garage townhouse. Let’s take inventory of my garage, shall we? Garage: Fits one car. I have managed to cram in there: 1 car, 1 barbeque, 1 hose and 1 large storage shelving unit that holds my husband’s tools. There is simply no room for another tall bin in my garage. Oh but can I just store it outside in my driveway or on my flower bed? No. Not only is that totally unsightly and not at all the landscaping “vision” I had for the front of my house, I’d likely get fined for not storing it out of sight. (Yup – they’ll fine you in my neighborhood if you don’t drag your trashcan inside for a few days – I can only imagine the rule will be exactly the same for this new recycling bin.)
So where does that leave me? Store it behind my house? Sure! I’ll haul it around the row of townhouses and store it on my back patio and just move the furniture I had there. So next time the hubby and I want to have a glass of wine out there, we’ll get to sit next to the big old plastic reminder to “reduce, reuse, recycle!”
This is why I’m angry. I have actively chosen not to participate in this recycling program but I am forced to maintain this ridiculously superfluous bin on my property. I am not knocking on people who choose to recycle. Recycle away! But give THOSE people the bins. Not me. My freedom and some of my personal living space has now been violated. What other crap are they going to force on me?
So, being a problem-solver, I came up with a handful of solutions:
Solution A: I could have run out there in my yoga pants and tank top and politely asked the gentlemen to not deliver it to my driveway. That would have required A. Quick thinking B. A boldness which I do not possess and C. An assumption that they would politely keep “my” bin on their truck. Um, the chances of A, B and C coming together for a woman who is pregnant and actively suffers from “pregnancy brain” is as slim as the chances of Joe Biden ever having strung a coherent thought together.
Solution B: I could take it up with my HOA. I could be one of “THOSE” people and go to the board meetings and protest and make a stink and prove to the world that I’m just a PTA mom in the making. But ya know, I try to pick my battles. I try to be a good neighbor and not complain and pay my dues and live peacefully. But the more I think about it… the more this one REALLY irks me.
Solution C: Rant about it here. Looks like you guys won.
Solution D: Turn it into a beverage holder for future parties. Not bad! Thanks for the idea @tom-martino1. But until then (And I’m not a frequent party hostess) what to do with it?
Solution E: Cut a hole in the bottom and go as a robot for Halloween.
Bottom line #2: I wouldn’t have had to come up with this ridiculous list of solutions if I hadn’t been forced to own a stupid 40 Gallon recycling bin in the first place. I want my freedom and I want my space and if I don’t want to recycle, that’s just too darn bad for you.