Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Green Etiquette

I live in what I like to call a "compound." Reminiscent of the Kennedys at Kennebunkport, the compound contains the "front house" and the two smaller garage apartments in back. I live in one of the garage apartments. It's tiny, it suits me ... one thing I like about it is that it is totally full. I can't fit anything else inside. That helps keep me from being too acquisitive, which is good for my financial and spiritual well-being.

Living in the compound, however, means that one is especially close with one's neighbors. We've recently had a transition, with new tenants moving into the front house. Previously, the four adults and baby twins (diapers!) living in the compound rarely filled one garbage can each week. Instead, we filled many, many recycling bins. (An aside: isn't it interesting how the word "bin" has been ascribed to all recycling receptacles? No? Well, I thought it was interesting.)

See! It's a giant garbage can! How could we fill the whole thing in a week?

But our new neighbors don't seem to recycle, and now, only 5 days since the last trash pick-up, the garbage is already full. Here's a picture of the recycling bin, with my piddling little stash of recyclables (the one you see next to it is the glass bin, which has been sitting there since the old tenants and which I need to take to Center St. recycling.)

Disturbed that the compound has lost its green cred, I thought, "What's a neighbor to do? I can't demand that they start recycling."

Today, however, I had the chance to email the new tenants, so here's how I phrased my recycling plea:

Did our landlord tell you when recycling goes out? I think it's every other Wednesday, but I'm not sure of the exact rotation. We can recycle paper, corrugated cardboard, and plastics 1-5 and 7. Not glass, but if we keep one recycling bin just for glass I take it to the recycling center sometimes, as long as it's rinsed out. They take green, clear, and brown glass.

See, I was trying to frame it subtly. How did I do?


Darci said...

Subtle...passive aggressive....does it matter?

Melanie said...

If this tactic doesn't work, you could accidentally leave the garbage bins a few houses down on trash day...