Posts Tagged ‘Green’

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green in Atlanta (and GA)

Trying to be green in Atlanta might be new to you since you watched An Inconvenient Truth last year and it scared the wee out of you, but it’s not new for a lot of in-towners. In fact, I think it’s is one of the many common values that ties us together as a community.

To that end, what’s been chapping me for years and keeping Vaseline in business is this: why is it such a pain in the tuckus to be green in our fair and otherwise ironically green city?

As an example of our brownness, I pose the question: does your local/favorite bar recycle?

If you guesstimate the bars in the ViHi, L5P, EAV, Inman Park areas alone to be in numbers close to 150, and you figure each of them sells an average of 50 bottles of beer a night (not counting restaurants and their wine/beer consumption) we’re at 7500 bottles a day being [presumably] thrown into a dumpster and not into a recycling bin.

Don’t get me started on local business and their paper consumption. I worked for a firm just after Y2K that didn’t recycle because they couldn’t find anyone that would come pick it up, and they were one of three dozen tenants in a Buckhead office building. Is this still the case today?

If you find yourself flitting about anywhere in North Carolina (some of the best hiking and river paddling is just two and a half hours away) and looking out at the landscape from the passenger seat, you’ll notice recycling centers are abundant and tucked off on the sides of roadways.

In Atlanta, we have few options, and they’re well kept secrets. Most apartment and condo compounds don’t have bins, and many curbside pick ups claim to be recycling your goods but I have my doubts.

So with that, and with the new year and Al Gores and God bless him and the interwebs, I bring you what little bits of greenie I have under my

First (and with a HT to MetBlog alum Lori aka mingaling), there’s the ole drop and dash behind Whole Foods on Ponce. Here you can drop your dirties without sorting and scurry back around to the civilization side of the building, making you feel like a convict in the making – even if there is a big sign tell you it’s okay.

Reportedly, you can also drop your bits at Sevanunda, the Dekalb Farmers Market and IKEA though I’d try the two former before the latter.

For your nastier more complex electronic pieces parts after you go Office Space / PC load letter on ’em, you can go to Grady High School every third Saturday of the month. Accepted items include: A/V equipment, cell phones, computer components, coax cables, walkmans, mice, computers, copiers, digital cameras, wire, DVD players, fax machines, batteries, wireless devices, keyboards, microwaves, misc. computer peripherals, monitors, mp3 players, pagers, Palm Pilots, power cables, power supplies, printers, projectors, scanners, server cabinets, speakers, steel and alloy rims (!?), steel scrap, stereo equipment, telephone equipment, toner cartridges, TV’s, vacuum cleaners, VCRs and video game systems.

I have my own doubts about where the city itself does its recycling and how that goes down. Maybe I’ll do a little investigative piece on it, but in the meantime I’ll continue to drop my goods where I know they’ll be taken care of. For many in Atlanta it isn’t even a consideration, if you don’t own a home (ie you rent an apartment that doesn’t offer recycling) you’re SOL and have no choice but to be an uber earth Samaritan and ironically increase your carbon footprint while trying to do good for the earth. Oy.

To this end, and to out myself as the trippy dippy hippie I am at heart, I’ll tell you I recently went out to the website for Barack Obama where you can submit your thoughts to him (more accurately, his staff) about what you’d like to see changed. My submission said something like this, as inspired by a twitter convo with @lauter and @carl (see also: I can haz twitter?):

The post office is a government operation. As such, you could and should enforce recycling in their centers by offering bins for paper next to mailboxes, where thousands of paper bits are disposed of every day.

Additionally, to hold a liquor license in this country you should be held to a high standard for recycling glass. Those caught disposing of recyclables in “regular” bins should have fines levied.

If you’re as into it as I am, take five minutes and submit a note, it certainly can’t hurt and you don’t even have to print/mail it. Win win!

Now that I’ve done all that rambling I do want to give props to Decatur, where it’s a different story: you “pay as you throw” and recycling is free, so you’re better off recycling every little bit you can.

One last thing, because this seems to be the post that never ends and I’m giving myself carpal tunnel: November 17th is Atlanta Recycles Day. I shittith thee not.

Recycling drop off behind Whole Foods on Ponce. The sign lists items you can drop: glass, newspapers, magazines, office paper, all plastic containers and bags, aluminum and steel, and also indicates no sorting is needed.

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