Monday, September 05, 2011

5 SEP 11: Ciudad de Plastico

Happy Labor Day to you -- but I have to ask a question. If you have the day off, do you have a "project" planned around the house? Don't you realize you're sort of defeating the purpose of the holiday?

Sunday was a big errand day for me, including a trip to the recycling center near Victory Drive. And there was a nice surprise there - as without any fanfare, the city has expanded the list of acceptable items. No, you are NOT allowed to drop off your former lover....

The recycling bins on 22nd Avenue now have two sections for plastic products, instead of one. The city is accepting items with the recycling numbers 3 through 7 - which tells me we're advancing well above grades one and two.

For years the city recycling program only accepted plastics with the numbers 1 and 2. Those numbers could be found on the bottom of milk jugs and soda bottles. And as someone who grew up in a city with stockyards, the thought of checking "ones and twos" always reminded me of a cattle price report.

The city public services department considered any plastic item without a 1 or 2 to be "junk" plastic, with little value on the recycling market. Obviously that viewpoint has changed in recent weeks. Perhaps city officials decided they need every dollar of revenue they can find -- even if it comes from plastic forks.

Because of the city recycling rules, I've faithfully checked for numbers and separated my plastics for years. But only Sunday night did I realize I've been making a big mistake. You're supposed to separate the lids from the bottles and jugs, while I've been combining them. It's simply not cool to stack plastic bottle caps, compared with sandwich cookies.

Any plastic item which didn't have a 1 or 2 was stacked in a corner of my kitchen, awaiting a trip to metro Atlanta. The recycling bins in my old home of College Park accept any sort of plastic, no matter what the number. And even better, College Park doesn't have extra police officers to check the license tags of recyclers.

(One exception to this was styrofoam, which technically is plastic number six. Publix stores have bins for that - but for some reason, the bins specify "foam trays." If they'll kindly stop selling styrofoam cups, I'll stop considering the cups a "tray" for holding coffee and soda.)

My only alternative for plastics with numbers 3-7 was to toss them to the curb with the rest of the trash. But thankfully, I won't have to do that anymore. I can recycle them with the other.... well, check that. I can't quite recycle them all together. There are still two separate bins. Some aspects of segregation simply refuse to go away overnight.

Oh yes -- I should interpret our title for readers who aren't familiar with Spanish. "City of plastic" is a line from a great salsa tune by Ruben Blades. It goes on to talk about cancerous buildings and faces of polyester -- but I'm not sure if he's specifying any national government in particular.

-> The big moment came early for us last week at an online poker tournament. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: Since it's Labor Day, a former TV news director in Columbus wants to add to what we wrote Sunday about Alison Flowers....

Others who have "made good" include: Deborah Roberts at ABC who worked for me at 9 in the mid 80s. Janice Huff at WRBL when to NBC but haven't seen her on air in a while, both Kennedys Kathy and Kimberly worked at CNN. One of them still has a show. There are another dozen of "my children" who are in top 20 markets.

Borden Black

Add to that list former WTVM meteorologist Maria LaRosa, who now appears on The Weather Channel. And one of these days, MSNBC is bound to ask Calvin Floyd to fill in for Rachel Maddow.

We'll hold one other e-mail for Tuesday - and since I've had numbers on my mind today, let's finish with a few scattered ones from the weekend:

+ 0.28. That much rain in inches fell on Columbus Airport, from the fringes of Tropical Storm Lee. So far the impact is about as weak as some of Lee Brantley's editorials.

+ 205,213. That was the final local dollar amount shown on WRBL from the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon. That total almost matched last year, even though the telethon only lasted six hours. I'm wondering how many people gave money because they thought the Jerry Lewis "retirement" was simply a big publicity stunt.

+ 60. That's how many yards Isaiah Crowell gained in his first game as a Georgia Bulldog. The former Carver star did NOT start, and his first carry found him tripping and falling in the backfield. Clearly he was distracted by the Boise State defense wearing orange shoes.

(Boise State busted the Bulldogs 35-21 - and I keep waiting for some diehard Southeastern Conference fan to blame it on Georgia being forced to wear those all-red uniforms.)

+ 62. As of today, that's the age of my older brother. He reminded me recently he's a "Labor Day baby," born on the holiday. By comparison, I was born on a Monday night in August -- which I suppose makes me a typical summer rerun.

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