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home : opinion : opinion June 28, 2016

2/8/2013 5:59:00 PM
All right, Othello, let's talk trash ...
Let's talk trash on a local level. The feeling of contributing to global warming is daunting. My family and I recycle everything, beyond the normal homeowner. I rinse, reuse and recycle, even taking glass to an off-site location - but not before it's been rinsed. I roll up unused tape in hope of using it later. And don't get me started on Christmas paper.
After receiving a handful of complaints and tired of taking up our city council's time, I hit the streets to end the "war on Shoppers." And by the streets, I mean covering 20 miles - by foot - and ridding the town of our Shopper trash. The only way to truly end the war was a full search and rescue, home by home, street by street.
Following my trusted U.S. Army Sergeant (Ret.) Eric Morgan, we went up and down each and every street within the city limits. We brought home over 150 of our fallen Shoppers, some already in a bag (literally). And considering we've carrier-delivered over 200,000 shoppers over the last 18 months, that's a great recovery rate. Some Shoppers were frozen, which required a few karate kicks to loosen their frozen carcasses. Some were in yards and yes, even a few were in the streets. But we got them all and as we recycled them, I felt the imaginary warmth of a U.S. Air Force flight jacket and a giant Mission Accomplished banner draped over my sweaty shoulders.
The total mission lasted three hours and burned over three gallons of gas, but considering the shoppers we saved (a whopping two 39-gallon trash bags worth), it made the mission worthwhile. Let's be honest, whose responsibility is it to keep the city streets clean ... (answer) those that make the mess, right?
Which means, as of this week, the amount of free trash being thrown in people's yards and city streets is no longer ours. We've picked up at least 99 percent of it, by hand, and taken it to the recycle dump - to be later turned into more newspaper. What remains is another newspaper's trash, not including the dozens I already picked up. It's like the circle of life, only made with trees.
What I found is homes that want The Shopper (97 percent of Othello), pick The Shopper from their driveway without issue. Those that don't, leave it in the yard, driveway or throw it back into the street assuming the entity they pay to pick up their garbage will do so. Thankfully, this 3 percent has been eliminated from our distribution and will no longer have to suffer the full minute (weekly) it takes to throw a piece of trash (their perception) into the garbage. Which is a good thing because technically, they never spent the minute (weekly) in the first place so now they've banked 52 minutes a year to wage another war.





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