|Dark things, dirty dark things lie together in the bin, cat food sachets, green curry containers, polystyrene pots and the awkward nozzle bits from Mr Sheen and used up hand soaps. Where will/does it all end up?|
The dark recesses of recycling remain a modern mystery and a source of righteous guilt. What goes where, should it be rinsed out, what can you mix, why bother? We do our best but it's a fuzzy process and based on my discreet observations around the modern world most people don't give a modern toss (that's about 50p). No matter what you put on the packet it all goes unread and just gets piled up elsewhere. It's kind of nobody's responsibility to care, all we want is a simple, preferably coloured instruction that tells where to fling our juice/yogurt/chicken soup carton so we can reduce the guilt and feel smug. So what if it's sent to Spain or China or burned up to power essential services in hospitals in Glasgow, as long as it's done out there in the great unknown by young offenders and surly pirate types wearing donkey jackets and hi-vis then that's fine. It's too much trouble to learn and to worry where it all ends or how it returns to us as shopping bags, tins of sugary drinks,underwear and Kia Rios following a convoluted route there and back again.
And there's the awful horror of knowing that what doesn't get used up is being compressed into squeezed up messy wee atoms and molecules and then buried at the bottom of the sea or in a secret mountain in the Far East where yellow trucks and diggers work 24 hours a day under arc lights piling up the world's waste. We need to stop buying rubbish that is only fit for recycling into more rubbish but we all need our rubbish and the perplexity of it's relationship with us for any of our lives to have meaning...said no one ever.