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Recycling uses what otherwise might be tossed into the garbage. The many uses of recycling are such that our grandparents and great-grandparents (if we are fortunate enough to still have them around), don’t even understand what the big hoop-la is all about today. I mean, in their time, the milkman still came around and picked up the glass milk bottles to refill and deliver again the next morning, after all. The term ‘recycle’ wasn’t even a word and yet was already being used. What has become of today’s society? Or is it just western society? Ah, but that is another topic entirely, is it not?

I have been contemplating over the duration of several months how to write a short article on recycling; not just what it is – I think we’ve got that pretty much rounded out… but also what types of things actually can be recycled and just where to go to have them recycled if we are not so fortunate to live in an area that has recycle trucks pick items up and take them away. Or perhaps the recycle trucks come out but only take some items and not others.

To my surprise, information is not so easy to find as I had suspected. In my humble opinion, much more things ‘should’ be recyclable than they are. After all, they came from something, they ought to be able to go back to something, or some form of something, or to re-create something… right? Well, I am no engineer, and there is a reason! ha

In case you don’t know about these neat things about recycling, let me tell you a few things I found out:

  1. I was surprised to find that mattress are recyclable, and that there can even be money in it (due to the box springs), if you take the time and where-with-all to do it.
  2. Of course, not a one of us should be surprised that recycling saves the environment – every time I throw a non-recyclable item in my garbage can I cringe, thinking about how I am adding to the landfills that my toddler will have to live with as an adult. It’s horrible for me, having to throw things away. Seriously.
  3. As an archivist, I love old things; anything I can take off of my grandparents hands, I do! 🙂 Love having the memories as well as the ‘antique-ish-ness’ in my home!
  4. As a 3-time organ transplant recipient, I have to tell you – YOU are also recyclable. Did you know that?? Yep, you. One person can save about 7 lives. If you don’t want to take it with you, why not be an organ donor? Just make sure and talk to your family about it. Then, check the little heart symbol on your driver’s license. And don’t worry! No medical professional would EVER compromise one life to save another – that would just be silly! 🙂 Trust me. I’m a 20-year vet. Transplant vet, that is!

So, what’s the use in recycling? Environment, money, memories, lives.

Those are mine. What are yours? 🙂