Monday, January 17, 2011

Idle Thoughts

When it comes to blogging, sometimes I need a kick in the proverbial tailpipe to get typing.

Today I received more than my fair share of inspiration.

It came in the form of pollution, puffing and wheezing its way out from the ass of an idling diesel crew cab parked at the recycling depot. (Coincidentally, the vehicle was also driven by an ass, which goes to show that nothing escapes the encompassing grip of the circle of life, not even those who are trying to squash it.)

Anyhow, after an energetic, sun-filled day of recycling, Katie and I congregated at Schnitzer Steel Pacific to unload for the final time. Schnitzer Steel provides a place for the public to come and drop their recyclables, mostly without cost.

The public takes advantage of this because, well, frankly, recycling will save the world. At the very least it beats throwing trash in the river.

So there we are, breathing deeply and feeling lively at the end of a healthy day of work, when a massive truck and trailer pulls up. Without shutting off his motor, this guy disappears into the office and doesn't come out for more than 10 minutes.

I'm sure he was having a great time, regaling the staff with stories of how he once was mistaken for a pylon, or how he kept losing to his neighbour's goat at Scrabble.

Us poor suckers in the yard, however, were quietly choking to death on pickup particulate.

When he did emerge from the office, this prince among polluters went about his business of dropping off his recycling. His truck, meanwhile, continued to emit.

Katie and I, meanwhile, continued to gasp for air.

Seriously, I can't fathom the disconnect between recycling and the rest of the environment for some people.

That one idling truck not only canceled out any Mother Nature Brownie points this guy could have earned from doing his own free recycling, I think it ended up costing him about $5 worth of fuel.

City of Duncan has adopted an anti-idling bylaw for their fleet of vehicles and Lake Cowichan is considering it.

Maybe our recycling friend will get the hint when more municipalities get on board.


Andy C. said...

That's a sad story. I guess fuel hasn't gotten expensive enough yet to make people think twice about idling, in the absence of by-laws?

Cowichan Recyclists... said...

Hey, Andrea.

We see it all the time on the streets. Cost might be a factor.

I'm really interested in the disconnect, though, when it comes to recycling and the environment.

Are people only doing because they've been told they have to and not because they understand the "why"?