Who knew the recycling center was the hub of village life?

May 26th, 2011

When we lived in the city, we had weekly curb-side recycling for paper. There was no pick-up for glass, plastic, or aluminum – we had to bring that to drop-off spots ourselves. Since nearly every grocery store has at least a drop-off point for plastic, and each neighborhood has more than one glass and aluminum drop-off point (they’re always together, the glass and the aluminum) it wasn’t a big deal, although for the elderly or infirm I can see where it would be a drag and I imagine some of that – especially the cans – ends up in the trash.

Here in the village, we don’t have pick-up for anything. Well, twice a year the school kids come around the whole town and collect the Altpapier, and that deserves a post of its own because it’s pretty awesome, but otherwise it’s drop it off yourself only. I regularly bring the glass, plastic, and aluminum to the grocery store, so the only thing that piles up around the house is the paper and cardboard. Since we live on a farm there is plenty of out-of-sight-out-of-mind storage space for the paper until the school kids come around, but recently I’ve decided that I need more order in my life and that even the out-of-sight-out-of-mind storage was getting on my nerves, so I’ve started bringing the paper and cardboard to the village recycling point, which is behind the fire station.

It’s open one hour a week, and I’ll tell you what: if you want to see and be seen in this village, bring your recycling to the firehouse during the delivery hour. Everybody is there. The parking lot is full, there are plenty of people who come on foot pulling a full Leiterwagon behind them, kids are throwing plastic bottles into the recycling containers. It’s practically a village festival, only without the tent and Bratwurst. Now that Small Boy walks home from kindergarten by himself, I don’t have as many see and be seen opportunities, so I’m definitely going to be a regular at the recycling center.

Less clutter (even of the invisible kind), more village life. Local recycling is a win-win!