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Avoiding Rush Hour Recycling

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On Monday, Wednesday and Friday the recycling centre is open from 1600-2000 or so, which is great if you’re working and want to go after work. The drawback to going at this time is that the one for local villages is down a narrow road where cars can barely pass each other. If you go at rush hour traffic you have commuters, and you have people heading to recycle.

When I had the scooter I would often go with that, because with a scooter it’s easy to go down a narrow road despite cars coming towards you. In a car you need to be careful that the mirrors on your car don’t hit the car coming the opposite way. There are two issues. The first is that the road was narrowed to slow down traffic. The second is that a road that should have no commuter traffic does have commuter traffic. Ideally this would be a one way road system.

If I go at 8 in the morning on a Saturday I miss the rush hour commuters, and I also miss all the people who can’t find the motivation to head to a recycling centre at 8 on a saturday morning. I used to be one of those people. I changed because I found that traffic is more fluid and because it’s quieter.

I find it hard to motivate myself to go and recycle. If it’s raining I use that as an excuse. If it’s sunny I use that as an excuse. If I have just finished my walk as it opens I use that as an excuse not to go.

I have been recycling for two or three decades or more, so the process of sorting recycling is normal. I’ve been recycling glass, aluminium, electronics, grass, paper and other things for a long time. It’s an ordinary part of life. It’s taking things to recycle that I find annoying. That’s why I wait until the car is full to go. I feel that it makes more sense to go when the journey is justified, rather than weekly.

I have started to keep recycling by the car. In so doing the excuse of having to run up and down stairs 3-6 times to take things from home to the car is taken care of. I just need to load the car and go. It’s important to remove key excuses.

I could take my walking loop by the recycling centre but people tend to mount the pavement where I’d be walking. I prefer not to go there by foot. The other option is to recycle things on the mornings when I shop. I could easily turn up five to ten minutes early, recycle some things, and shop.

I have a modular system. If you order things from online shops or other online stores you get boxes. I use these boxes to store PET bottles, glass and more. I wait until they’re full, and then I place them by the car. It’s my way of recycling cardboard boxes, before recycling them. If I use plastic containers, or paper shopping bags I need to bring them back up, after I’ve been to the recycling centre. By using boxes that need to be recycled anyway I have a convenient, modular system, for trips to recycle.

Although it could be seen as lazy not to go every single week I am one person, not two to four people. I generate half to a quarter of what others produce in recycling so it makes sense to go half, or a quarter as often as others. I also save petrol and wear and tear on the car. By going once every few weeks I help reduce congestion around the recycling centre, especially by going at 8am on a Saturday, when others prefer to sleep.