God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Recycling At Its Strangest!

This will be a relatively short entry. I have been wanting to share this for the longest time but just recently captured the ultimate recycling phenomena pictured below.

Bella Italia works at being bella and so it is not surprising that it is really into environment, recycling and using biological products—produce, cosmetics, fabrics, cleaning supplies, etc.At a young age, children are instilled with the need to protect their environment. Currently, Casey’s class has an extensive unit on this topic. In fact, as I write, Casey and Valentina, his tutor--who is quite wonderful--, are preparing for his group’s presentation on plastics.

In Tuscany--maybe much of Italia--there is no such thing as trash pick-up in the United States style--putting out segrated trash cans once a week for the sanitation workers to empty into their big mulching trucks.

Instead here there are large garbage bins conveniently placed along the roads--blue
for glass and plastic, green for food stuff, yellow for paper and cardboard and grey for mixed bags.

When we first arrived, I found these to be a very unattractive component of the picturesque landscape of Tuscany. But, as we live here and become more and more residents and less and less tourists, my perspective has changed and I now appreciate the method. The only problem being that at this point, we can drive past innumerable of these along the road, not seeing them. This frequently results in our trash having an all-expense paid excursion to-and-from Firenze, returning to our apartment unscathed. Nicoletta told me it happens to her, too, so I don't feel quite so incompetent.

Now--for the ultimate in trash collection and recycling--I challenge you to find a similar service or commitment in Mississippi, Iowa, California, New Jersey, Montreal, Sydney--or anywhere for that matter. I do believe that Italians have it hands down.

We've seen several vehicles left like this one--always at this location. A car will sit here for a few weeks and then one day disappear only to be replaced by another one shortly thereafter. I keep hoping to be passing by at the time of a collection. I really, really want to know how this works. So far, no one has been able to explain it to me. It seems to be a mystery of the road.


Ann said...

Up north a ways, in Busto Arsizio, not too far from Milan, we do have trash pick up, thankfully. Up until about 4 years ago we also used to have the trash/recycle bins in addition to pick up, but the bins have disappeared all together.

Jane said...

Hi Ann--but--what about the car? Have you ever seen that? It is too strange.

Bryan said...

We have trash pick-up outside our door but we are in the centro storico where they use hand carts. I have yet to see them haul off anything bigger than a garbage bag let alone a car!

Anonymous said...

Maybe at the primary level they teach environmental protection but they must not at the secondary level. Everywhere we go in Italy teenage children throw there trash and cigarette butts where they stand.

Jane said...

This is strange to me as one of the things we have commented on this year is how clean Italy is. Roadside trash is almost non-existent, city streets are cleaned continually (as opposed to San Francisco, New York, etc.), and we have known some remarkably well behaved teenagers. That being said, we also know that are teens here who are like some just about anywhere--backs of seat buses have graffiti,etc. But--the generalizing to all teens is not fair to them.

But--you have hit a note that resonates in that we are really concerned about the number of young people who are smoking here. There has been a noticeable decline in smoking in Italy except for the kids. It is really sad.