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“It’s not easy being green”

By Samantha Goff
Tribune Sentinel Staff

One evening after a long day of work and after our family finished supper, I strolled out to the alley, both hands full. One carrying a small bag of trash, and the other carrying a box of recyclables. What a breeze to just toss the bag in the garbage and dump the box in the  recycle bin all in one hassle free trip.
PSYCH! If you recycle up on our hill you know it’s not really that easy. Sometimes, not that easy by far.
Although I truly believe in the cause, the inconvenience of recycling can sometimes be discouraging, especially if you are like us, and do not have the luxury of curbside pick up.
As you can imagine, we accumulate quite a bit of paper here at the Tribune. Just last week, as I often do, I loaded up the car and made a run to the hill to dump it in the paper bin. When I got there, however, the paper compartment was so full that I couldn’t put anything else in there.
Lucky for me, a Grant city worker was there and told me he would call the recycle company in Ogallala and they would probably come the next day. Not wanting to unload the car more than necessary, I left all the paper in the car, and went back the next day.
Guess what? The recycle company had come. BUT! The way it works is: In Grant, we have two trailers: one houses the receptacles for paper, plastic, tin and aluminum, and the other is for cardboard. USR, out of Ogallala, brings an empty trailer with them when they come to Grant,  and they take one  full trailer back to Ogallala. Then they bring a second empty trailer and take the second full trailer.
Unfortunately for me, that day, they had taken the full multi-material bin, and brought an empty cardboard bin. So when I went on a second attempt to simply recycle a car full of paper, I found only two cardboard bins.
You can imagine my frustration, as I now had no choice but to go back to the office, unload the car (we needed it to transport the current issue of the paper), and reload it to try again on another day.
And that’s exactly what I did. And it was practically effortless (minus the heavy lifting that goes with moving such paper regardless of any other circumstance).
My point is, it may not ALWAYS be easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it. If it wasn’t worth it, that trailer would not have ever been full in the first place. Truth be told it warmed the green eco-friendly place in my heart to see the bins of the trailer so full, even if it was a royal pain for me personally!
Even though we do not have a curbside pick up program, we are lucky enough to have a place to take our recyclables, and to me,  that’s enough.
Hauling my own materials to the recycle bins has done nothing but make me and my family more aware. We also appreciate recycling more, because we have no choice but to see how much “trash” we really can save from filling up the landfills, and how much material we can send to be reused.
So don’t get discouraged! Keep recycling! After all, Kermit has always said, “It’s not easy being green.”