Live And Learn: Paper and plastic in the blue bin not in the trash bin

We’ve heard about recycling for years, yet only recently has it become a big thing. I know I have seen recycling ads since I was in elementary school so this is nothing new.

Yet, I am amazed at how so many people are still not recycling. How hard is it to throw your recyclables in the blue bin right next to the trash can?

As annoyed as I get about strangers not recycling, I am twice as annoyed that my own roommate chooses to ignore my wishes about recycling.

At home, our trash can is located underneath a vacant counter free of any kitchen appliances. We rarely use that counter for any kitchen tasks such as when we’re cooking, so I usually place my recyclables on that counter.

I usually wait until the end of the week to throw the trash and recyclables out, but every now and then I find that the recyclables have been removed and placed in the trash can.
Annoyed and frustrated as I am, I take them out and separate them, only to find more at the bottom of the bag. The culprit just happens to be my roommate (who else?).

Time and time again I have told him to recycle but he protests by saying that keeping our recyclables on the counter makes it look cluttered.

In attempt to bargain, I decided to get a box from work and place it outside our sliding glass door. I told him that from now on the recyclables will go there. I thought that this would work, but lo and behold, I found a plethora of plastic bottles in the trash can not too long ago.

So I have to ask, why is it so hard to separate the trash from the recyclables? Is it pure laziness or is it just plain ignorance? Aren’t people aware of our changing climate? Anyone concerned about global warming?

I know there are a lot of skeptics out there who don’t necessarily believe that global warming is real, but come on. We have all seen and felt the changes in our climate. Statistics in changes in various places of the world are well documented. So isn’t anyone concerned?

According to, “2005 was the warmest on record, and the years 1998 and 2007 are tied for the second warmest. The eight warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998.”

I don’t necessarily remember much from 2005, but I do remember summer being miserably hot and very uncomfortable, which is why I personally hate summer time.
I know it isn’t much, but recycling does help in the greater scale of things. Doing your part for the environment, how ever small, is still doing something as opposed to nothing.

If you really think about it, where does our trash go? What can we expect for our future? It’ll be a green planet alright, green because of the gaseous pollutants left behind by man.
I seriously do not know how to convince my roommate about recycling other than to constantly remind him of doing so. However, it shouldn’t be so difficult for everyone else on campus to throw away your plastics in the blue bin that is almost always located right next to the trash can.

Perhaps when recycling is turned into a law, maybe people will start recycling. Until then, I think I’m going to have to pull in a big blue bin from outside and put it in my kitchen. Maybe then my roommate will get the hint!

Luis Bahena is the City Times opinion editor

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Live And Learn: Paper and plastic in the blue bin not in the trash bin