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My Recycling Got a Bit Out of Hand

I try to recycle whenever possible. Our local recycling facility only accepts numbers 1 and 2 plastic, so they are the only two I plastics I recycle. I also recycle paper, cardboard, glass, and aluminum. I work near the center, so I save my items and take them once I have a good amount. I waited too long this time.

I decided that Sunday afternoon would be the perfect time to gather up my recycling, remove labels and neck rings from plastic bottles, and break down boxes. I worked up a sweat getting everything prepared and taken out to my car. I didn’t glance at the clock at all, so I was amazed to see that I had been working on my recycling for four hours.

I had things stashed in different places so my house didn’t look trashy. I used to keep all of my recycling together in the garage until I realized my family was throwing it out with the trash, which is the opposite of my goal. So, I started keeping cardboard and paper in one room, glass and plastic in one room, and aluminum in another.

One of the reasons I had so much plastic is because I can’t drink the water at my house. Back in 2007, I thought I was dying. My doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, but she was certain I was being poisoned. I won’t go into the details, but I was extremely ill. She put me on all sorts of specialty diets to try to ascertain the cause of my illness.

I discovered the cause on my own in the weirdest quirk of fate. I went out of town for a few days, and my symptoms disappeared. All signs of my malady were gone. I was thirsty from my long journey when I returned home. I poured myself a tall glass of water and drank it while I unpacked. Roughly 15 minutes after I consumed the water from my tap, all of my symptoms returned.

The city where I reside had changed the chemicals used to treat our water, and something in the mix makes my deathly ill. I spoke with my doctor who advised me to buy bottled water or move. Of course, everyone else in the house decided they needed to drink bottled water, too. I shudder to think how much money I’ve spent on that stuff in the past 12 years.

Even though my nest is empty, my husband and I still drink at least one case of purified water a week. You can imagine how those bottles add up. I had a full trash bag of them once I got all the labels and rings removed. I discard the lids when I drink the water, so I didn’t have to worry with those.

After all of that work, you would think I’d visit the recycling center the next day. I’d planned to do so during my lunch break at work. I had everything separated and in the trunk of my car. Yet, I did not. A morning thunderstorm had made it so hot and muggy I decided to drive thru Hardees instead.

Not everyone is keen on recycling for a variety of reasons. I’m not going to lie. It is inconvenient. However, I am doing something to help our planet with my recycling. I feel good about doing my small part.

It warms my heart to see more and more products made from recycled materials. I actually bought a jean jacket a couple weeks ago that is made from 25% recycled plastic. I like to think that some of my water bottles found their way into my jacket.

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