Recycle THIS by Robert Levin
Earlier today I received a notice advising me that recycling program in my neighborhood has been “rebooted” and that I will henceforth risk “serious fines” if I fail to sort and, in case of jars and bottles, RINSE my garbage before leaving it out.
I hate to come off as a bad sport, but I’ve got to tell you: In all these years I’ve never once sorted or rinsed my garbage and there’s no way I’m going to start now. I mean, what exactly IS this shit? I don’t even sort and rinse stuff I keep!
Let me try to explain something here. I would never have had a problem with chore we’ve been assigned if a vital need to conserve essential natural resources was given it’s assumed to be and if claim that recycling saves significant quantities of natural resources was true. But importance and value of recycling is dubious at best. Summarily ignored, a number of reports (including one in The New York Times) revealed early on that, in fact, we’re not running out of substances recycling is intended to save. What’s more—and this applies to nonbiodegradable materials that end up as landfill as well as to organic elements—even industry’s own published (and doubtless exaggerated) figures make it clear that what recycling process manages to salvage is of no real consequence. So while I’ll allow that self-immolation would constitute a disproportionate form of protest, I have to say that reacting with less than indignation to so gratuitous an imposition would also be inappropriate. (Particularly when you consider that nowhere in notice was there mention of a tax rebate for performing what, if it’s to be performed at all, should properly have been a function of Department of Sanitation from beginning.)
It’s obviously not as dramatic, but this recycling business had always reminded me of so-called “oil crisis” of late seventies. Remember that? Remember how we were told flat out that after decades of witless gorging on a finite resource we’d all but depleted world of fossil fuels? Remember how, to be sure that we got message, we were made to endure frantic weeks of gasoline rationing and reduced thermostat levels?
(I know that my senator then, Senator D’Amato will want to cut in here to tell me this was before “Jurassic Park” came out and that at time we didn’t realize we could make more.
Yessir. That’s an...interesting...point. But, and with all due respect, SIT THE FUCK DOWN!—it’s beside point I was making. Okay?)
The point I was making is that whole thing was a setup to get us to accept inflated petroleum prices. There was, it turned out, enough oil left under just backyards of Kuwait’s Emir and Mobil’s CEO to run our quadrant of galaxy AND keep Pat Riley splendidly coifed for another century or two.