Getting the hang of recycling

Harvey Dorval had a slow start, but he's become a firm recycling believer

Now that we’ve been recycling more seriously in the past year or so, I’m beginning to get the hang of it. At first I was intimidated by all the differently coloured boxes and big plastic bags but with the help of my long-suffering wife, the whole merry dance is beginning to make sense.

As I look into the back of our garage I see them all lined up, a big grey plastic garbage can with wheels, a nifty little green box also on wheels and fitted out with a child-proof lock (or is that for raccoons?) and a formidable blue box without wheels. I also have two yellow bags big enough for Jimmy Hoffa.

They say that no one is more zealous than the newly converted and I find myself slipping easily into that role. Instead of  counting sheep at night, I now lie in my humble cot and dream of other things to recycle, stuff that just may help save the planet or at least make work for a lot of people. For example, I must have eight or nine baseball hats, things my kids secretly wish I wouldn’t wear.

An acquaintance of mine on the mainland, a frequent crosser of the border into LaLa  land south of us, had a pretty good ploy for getting past inquisitive border guards. On his return, he would choose a queue with a woman in the booth and wear a baseball hat displaying the legend, “Smile if you are not wearing panties.” Laughing ladies waved him through  more often than not. As usual, I digress.

I’ve been using disposable razors for years, part of my puny protest against gouging by the major supplier of shaving gear. I use each blade for a week and then  dispose of it. Why not send them nicely re-packaged to countries where the men are less hairy? They’ll never know the difference. They could also be used in prisons because they’re so dull when I’m finished with them they could never be used to hurt anyone or enable a prison break.

See how easy it is to do some creative thinking on the subject once you get the bug?

For years I’ve complained about our medicine cabinet being the place where prescription drugs go to die. I hate to throw out half-empty containers of expensive stuff, some no longer needed, some past their due date. I’ve used some of the ointments to grease door hinges. They work well but they look messy. I toyed  with the idea of handing out the many brightly coloured pills as candy at Halloween but was dissuaded by you-know-who. I’m still working on some way to recycle them.

After much thought, I have come up with the ideal item for recycling: dental floss. Every  morning Canadians discard miles of the stuff, used only once and already cut to a length. It’s durable and  waterproof. Some of it even tastes good. It would be ideal to recycle to craft shops for ladies to use in making doilies. They would last forever. Fishing tackle shops could use it for tying flies. I’m sure many of our readers could come up with dozens of innovative ideas. Perhaps the RDN could supply us with little plastic containers in tasteful  gummy pink.


— Harvey Dorval is a regular News columnist



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