I got my report card this morning. I walked out to retrieve the recycle bin and saw that it wasn’t empty. It had a small plastic bag in the bottom, signaling that I got an ‘F”! I failed.
I was doing so well; I had all A’s the past several weeks, but this morning I didn’t pass the weekly quiz. That plastic bag was REJECTED! NOT ACCEPTABLE! It proved I hadn’t done my homework or I couldn’t follow instructions or I was just being an uncooperative old coot.
But it was a mistake, not an intentional act that caused my failure. I know that plastic bags are no longer recyclable; they mess up the separation machinery at the sorting plant. It doesn’t matter if it was intentional or not. I still got an F!
I’m not as concerned about failing out of recycling school as I am about the inconvenience I put the recycle crew through. These guys are among the hardest working people I’ve ever seen. They hustle more than middies on a college lacrosse team. Virtually in a dead run, back and forth to the truck with intervals of hanging on in back (for dear life) as the truck moves on to the next set of stops.
My inability to retrain myself, to adapt to the change in the recycle rules, makes their jobs harder; it forces them to paw through my “test paper” to see if I passed this week’s exam. All I can say is, “I’m sorry! I’ll try to do better. And, if that doesn’t work, I’ll plead the “old coot” memory excuse, “I forgot!”