Recycling on the Road


By Steve Davies,
Healthy Planet Columnist

It was just last week, when I was sitting on the screen porch of our family cabin up in northern Minnesota that I began to start thinking about what I should write my next article on. I was thinking about plastics because safe to say, plastics are everywhere.

After writing about glass, the easiest material to recycle, plastics felt a little like going to the other end of the recycling spectrum and with limited time, I decided to leave it for another time.

It wasn’t till towards the end of our vacation however, when I was packing up the car that I got an idea about what to write about. The night before, out in the middle of Iowa, my youngest son and I both ordered take-out pizza. Safe to say he was quite surprised the next morning when he saw me packing up those empty pizza boxes in the back of the car, along with our luggage.

On the way up, he was only drinking water from one of his water bottles and his brother wasn’t really drinking much at all, so all I had to do was hold on to a couple of bottles in the door of our rental car. Once we got to town, I then dropped them off at the local recycling center.

Now during our time at the cabin, we also have our usual containers, one for trash, one for burnable items and one for recyclables. Something that has been a family tradition as it were, for nearly as long as I can remember going up there. It was that memory however that got me to thinking about something that I felt was missing.

I know when I was a kid, my parents frequently made it a habit to stop at rest stops and that’s where I always remember seeing individual bins for trash and recycling at least in Minnesota. What I noticed was missing on this trip were those same recycling bins but, at places like hotels and gas stations. At least nowhere I could see.

That in turn takes me back to another time when I started my own small recycling company. That would be a really good idea for a small business. Unfortunately, that’s probably for a younger entrepreneur and at this point in my life, that’s not me. I guess I’ll just keep writing while taking my recyclables back home in our car.

Meanwhile if you have questions about recycling feel free to email me at thprecycler@yahoo.com