The Recycling Truth Was Complicated

Re: “Learn the Three ‘Rs,’ 4J” (Letters, 12/17). Though I appreciate the writer’s sentiment, history proves otherwise. By chance, I was a teacher at two of the local schools that were demolished and then rebuilt. A few nice things were recycled: cabinets, doors, shelves, desks, etc. However, at one school’s demolition and after many parents asked why items are not recycled, the hardworking custodial crew notified parents that they could come on a certain day to recycle (take away) anything they wanted. The custodians, on their day off, filled the parking lot with many valuables, from tables to toilet roll dispensers.

No one showed up. Custodial employees had to move everything back into the building. Sad but true.

I think most people, though their hearts are in the right place, essentially just want to buy new shiny things and not take time to remove, rebuild and repaint. It’s difficult to know people’s lack of motivation.

Perhaps COVID and the new depression will motivate us to change our “buy now and save” attitude.

Derwood Potter