The other morning, as I dragged our two large containers down our driveway, I marveled again at how our recycling bin is full while the one for trash is less than half full. Over the years, as more and more materials can be recycled, the ratio of recycling to trash has grown. I say this not to pat ourselves on the back — it’s as much a Vermont thing as a Mansfield thing. It seems that roadside trash, always rather limited, is also improving over the last few years.
Then my thoughts turned to the terrible situations we will soon encounter as we travel with the #Airstream to the Southwest. Every year we get discouraged about the trash along roadways and the lack of recycling. So I decided to recycle a post I wrote several years ago, since nothing has changed for the good. Here it is from February 2012:
One of the big disappointments about Texas birding is the amount of trash you encounter along roadways – about anywhere. Many times I’ve spotted a Crested Caracara up ahead to find it’s only one more Walmart plastic bag tangled on a fence post. Of course, with no recycling, no returnable deposit, and a “toss it out the window” mentality, what can you expect?
Recycling is about non-existent throughout the South. It hurts to crush plastic milk cartons and toss them with the cardboard, cans, and other recyclables. State parks are pretty lame, with only aluminum cans collected. Since we drink no soda or beer from cans, well you get the picture.
The other day I drove over to a large wildlife management area for some birding. It is used for grazing as well and some of the residents didn’t seem too impressed by the Vermont plates and kayak on the red truck.
The highlight was a big bird that flew off and perched in a tree up ahead. Thankful that I didn’t have the dog with me, I got right underneath a Great Horned Owl who watched me through the branches but stayed perched as I photographed it and then quietly moved on.
We have found a few parks and municipalities where there is more recycling so often we rattle along with several weeks worth of recycling in the truck, looking for a home.