Alright Paul, time for the Jets and the Sharks to rumble.

I wrote a post recently, based on a story I found in the Coloradoan, regarding how little glass that Colorado, as a state, recycles.  Our morning show host Paul (or perhaps his alter ego, The Green Minstrel) wrote not one, but TWO blog posts trying to prove me wrong.  In both posts, he makes some grave missteps for the sake of calling me out, that ultimately cost him his entire argument.  Here are the facts:

  1. At no point did I ever claim that it's only "recycling" if an old bottle is turned into a new bottle.  Paul falsely attributes this statement to me twice, an error that's widely considered to be unforgivable in the world of journalism (I'm not saying we're dyed-in-the-wool journalists around here, but I failed news-writing assignments in college for less).  As it turns out, I understand completely that glass can be re-purposed in many different ways.  I'm not that ignorant; and to prove I'm not, I'll grant that using glass waste as landfill layer covers and drainage pipe beds are both effective re-purposing techniques, and I'm sorry for implying otherwise in a passionate moment of blogging.  Happy, Paul?  Well wait, there's more...
  2. In my post, I cited a few statistics about glass recycling, which I pulled directly from the corresponding story on the official Web site for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.  Namely, I brought up the fact that, of the 2,500 tons of glass waste left in Fort Collins curbside recycle bins last year, less than 250 tons were actually melted down and re-used.  I understand this doesn't account for re-purposing (like landfill layer covers, etc.), but that's still a staggeringly low number nonetheless.  Paul responded by calling his friend at Waste Management, so he could get a nice clean sound bite of an industry professional saying all glass that's properly sorted and dropped off at a glass recycling facility actually gets recycled, just as it should.  I was talking about curbside recycling, not drop-off recycling.  So, despite his connections at Waste Management, Paul's evidence is irrelevant, and his argument invalid.
  3. The fact remains that Colorado, as a state, is 49th in the nation for recycling glass; and, honestly, that's the only argument I really need. (Note: The story in the Coloradoan says this figure came from New Belgium Brewing.  Normally, there would be no reason for me to trust a brewery as an authority on recycling; but this is New Belgium, one of the most environmentally-conscious businesses in Colorado, if not the country.  If they say Colorado sucks at recycling glass, I believe them.)

Lastly, I just want to point out that I'm not some lazy jerk who doesn't care about the environment.  As I stated in my original post, my wife and I recycle as much as we can.  And Paul was right: it's not hard to recycle.  I get that.  But upon first finding this story, it was upsetting to see that the system, at least at some levels, is broken.  So I took a pretty extreme stance, a stance that mirrored my feelings, by saying I'm not going to recycle glass anymore.  Rest assured, though, that I'm still going to continue my current recycling efforts, even if for no other reason than they're automatic for me at this point.  I'll just have to do so with the knowledge that those efforts may be less fruitful than I've been led to believe since childhood.  Oh, well.

So there you go, Paul.  Now, can we please stop passive-aggressively arguing about trash?  My head hurts. ;)