This is a good example of how, sometimes, communication is so difficult. I know the words you’re using, but are you using them they same way I mean them?
I asked one of my co-workers if Fairbanks had a recycling program. He explained that there was a specially roofed over section at the transfer station where I could put things that I thought were still in good enough condition to give away. The roof is a niceity provided by the borough, so that things don’t get wet or snowed on. Did I mention that I haul my own trash to the landfill weekly? Lots of people who live outside the city do. This is why it’s useful to have a truck for work here; if you live outside of the city, and there’s a lot who do, you always need a truck to haul your garbage to the transfer station (for free!) on Saturday, get a load of water in your water tank, (lots of people aren’t on the city water) put a dog box on, etc. BUT, back to the recycling thing.
So, I said to Jim, “I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing. I’m talking about a place to take papers, cans and bottles.” Jim said, “Wow. I know what you mean, but I’m not sure we have that here.” (!!) “Recycling” to him meant giving something away for repurposing by someone else. This is quite a hobby here; “repurposing” is the polite term; “dumpster diving” the more direct one. I’ve seen several people looking around at the transfer station, every Saturday. After asking several other people, all of whom are pretty brainy librarians who have been here a long, long time, I discovered that even though it’s been tried in the past, **there is no recycling anywhere in Fairbanks!**
Wow. It’s been weeks now, and I’m *still* trying to figure out how *not* to throw away paper, glass, tin and aluminum! It just seems *wrong*! While I was calling around to try to get another answer I was happier with, if only I reached the right person, I called the landfill and asked the nice lady there if there was a recycling program in Fairbanks:
“Um, not really.”
I mentioned that someone comes and gets the paper in the library that’s marked “recycle”, but I didn’t know what actually happened to it.
“Well, they might tell you yes, but even if they pick it up, it’s probably going in the landfill.”
Gotta love that quirky Fairbanks humor. 🙂 I guess it costs so much to truck it out of state to market, nobody can make money at it. But, the student union has a “aluminum can recycle” bin at the Taku park and ride lot, I can bring the paper to work, and Wal-Mart takes the plastic bags at their entrance. I can save unthreaded beer bottles for home brewing. I guess that’ll have to do.