The Reluctant Recycler Redux

Just when I thought I was poised to win my War on Recycling, we received a letter (above) from our apartment management staff on Friday warning us to shape up or pay out. Apparently, we’re not the only ones in the complex who’ve gone rogue on the recycling front.

Truth is, I’d been a good little recycler the past couple weeks after having felt some guilt from my prior anti-recycling post. I was hoping it was enough to get bottles and cans in their proper bins, but unfortunately, I had discarded them while still in plastic garbage bags.

I know — what a jerk, right?

I’ve gone over this warning nearly 62 times and I’m still completely miffed by these instructions:

“Glass bottles and jars only go into the blue receptacles. NO OTHER MATERIALS go into these blue bins. GLASS ONLY. Also, please place the bottles into the bins; do not leave them in boxes or bags in front of the bins. If you leave items outside of the bins, you will be charged a $50 non-compliance fee.”

I struggled in high school algebra and this nonsense read to me a little like:

“A train is leaving from Albuquerque going east at 65 miles per hour while another train is leaving Fort Worth an hour later going west at 54 miles per hour. The second train is made of recycled steel and runs on coal, thus minimizing it’s carbon footprint. At what point will these two trains collide, who’s fault will it be and how will it get Al Gore elected president?”

I always get stewed over fines. Fines always come in the form of a rounded-off number, as if $48.33 just wouldn’t get the point across, but $50 — that’ll teach’em!

Fines just seem so arbitrary.

In the NFL, a player can be fined something like $2,500 for wearing the wrong pair of socks. That’s right, a $2 pair of socks that doesn’t conform with league dress code can mean a fine worth 125,000 percent of the socks’ original value. That seems a little disproportionate. Then again, I’m sensitive about socks and you can’t just have hooligans running post routes with argyle socks on.

Maybe it’s more telling I would notice the $50 threat before realizing the word “please” is used six times in this warning. In all likelihood, that should be enough to yield results. But “please” is just a passive-aggressive way of saying, “I’m counting on you to do this, and I’m going to be real irked if you don’t.”

My War on Recycling rages on, folks. Unfortunately, it looks like it just became more costly.

What’s the biggest/dumbest fine you’ve ever received?

7 thoughts on “The Reluctant Recycler Redux

  1. I can’t believe they can impose a fine on improperly recycling. I had to pay $280 to get my car out of towing after “Parking within 20 feet of a driveway.” Not cool at all.

  2. Andrew, I love what your doing with this blog. Someday I might have to ask you how I might go about it…never blogged before. So proud you are still writing and love your dry sarcastic nature! :) (what do you think of little smilies on texts and posts? They really annoy some people!)

  3. Being an avid recycler myself, I dont think that fine is anything but fair… I think everyone should recycle. Help save the world :) Its not difficult, it doesnt take a lot of brain cells, and most people have the contents that can actually be recylced. Americans are lazy. Bold statement, but true. Miller, that notice didnt make should bring that to their attention. Humor me and keep recylcing, make Bethy too/.

  4. How about being threatened a large sum of money if a certain household didn’t wash off window paint of a certain sex organ on the windows of their cedar ridge townhome after 3 months? How ridiculous…

  5. A) What is this recycling thing you speak of? Sounds like a fad.

    B) I was asked once by a person if I compost…I laughed and walked away.

    C) Dumbest fine ever would be $75.00 for not cleaning under my apartment stove before I moved out. Unreal. I wanted to compost on my landlords yard.

    • There is a compost removal service in Portland. That’s right, you can pay to have things taken from your home once they begin to rot. Where I called from, that’s called “garbage” and the normal garbage truck will pick it up. Idiots.

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