Sunday, 8 June 2008

Recycling for fun and profit

Since May 2007, as a family we've been conscientiously separating household waste. (See this article from last November.) Our savings in terms of money have been significant - instead of paying 64 zlotys a month to have our rubbish removed (two wheelie bins a week at 8 zlots a pop), we're down to two a month - 16 zlotys. Fruit and vegetable waste goes into the garden composter, while glass, plastic and paper are stored separately and driven to Nowy Podolszyn. The recycling bins here, operated by Remondis, are never full, as they often are in Zgorzala. The bins at Jeziorki, mentioned in the November article, have gone, local residents were furious at the mess left by unscrupulous users who treated the site as a general dumping ground for all waste (rubbish was everywhere).

In the six weeks since my last visit to the bins, we got through 134 glass jars and bottles, two 120 litre binbags full of plastics (yogurt cartons and mineral water bottles to the fore) and a 120 litre binbag full of paper and cardboard.

Recycling in itself is not the answer to man's woes; we need to consume more rationally, not be prey to the marketing of the FMCG corporations, consider what we're doing as we spend and be conscious of how it affects the environment and our wallets.

1 comment:

Mark Kasprzyk said...

Hello Michael,

I have picked up your blog while searching for Polish blogs in English. Your writing and photographs are great and I am enjoying reading your posts. There are many things that intrigue me and connect for me.

We are avid re-cyclers for decades. All organic material is composted for the garden and all plastic, paper and glass goes into re-cycling wheelie bin provided by the local council. The result is our wheelie rubbish bin is only ever half full and does not smell and our vegies grow well.

You are right that reduced consumption as well as re-cycling is important. We try to buy fresh food and minimise processed and packaged food.

I was born in Poland and migrated with my parents to Australia in 1958. Since then I have had a brief visit back to Poland in 2006.

I am interested in your observations and comments on the urban development. In some ways I see patterns of development in your area that have already happened here in Melbourne over 50 years ago. I hope the same mistakes are not made in Poland. The biggest being unrestrained urban sprawl that has 3.8 million Melbourne residents spread out over an area of over 2000 sq km.