Recycling becomes a way of life

Keep Amarillo Beautiful needs to hire some of the kids I saw in Jerusalem recently.

I was sitting in a sidewalk cafe in the Old City. Then I looked up and saw two boys patrolling empty tables, looking for plastic bottles. They grabbed all the bottles they could find and tossed them into a bag.

Recycling is a way of life in Israel. Israelis recycle plastic bottles, glass bottles, newspapers, aluminum cans — and water. It’s the water recycling that is most interesting. You can see Israeli homemakers pouring water they had used in cooking their vegetables onto their gardens.

The recycling emphasis reminds me of my former home state of Oregon, which in the 1970s enacted a “Bottle Bill” that pays money for bottles and cans returned to grocery stores.

Keep Amarillo Beautiful, the brainchild of Dusty McGuire, does a decent job of promoting these efforts here. But it hasn’t sold it yet on the population at large, which still is tossing a large quantity of these materials into the trash can, only to be hauled off to the landfill where it is buried forever.

What the city needs are a few dedicated kids to take these bottles, cans and newspapers to the nearest recycling bin.

Leave a Reply