ignorance is no excuse of the law

I don’t usually complain about things on this blog because the internet is already a pretty negative place, and I’d prefer to brighten it instead of perpetuating the negativity. That said, people who don’t know how to use the recycling bins really irritate me.

In New York City, people are legally mandated to recycle. Most New Yorkers are apartment denizens, and therefore don’t have to expend too much energy thinking about recycling. Appropriate containers are located in the refuse rooms; all anyone must do is put the paper recyclables in the green container and the glass and plastic recyclables in the blue container. It’s a piece of cake.

Our old apartment had posters in the refuse room reminding us which items went in which containers, and, when we moved into this apartment, which does not have such signs, I spent thirty seconds on the internet verifying what goes in which. The guidelines were ridiculously easy to find.

Still, it seemed that I was the only one on my floor who took the time to remind (or educate) herself about the difference between the containers. I am astonished every time I walk into the refuse room and see soda bottles in the green box and old mail in the blue box, usually on top of a mixed group of correct and incorrect things. (There are usually some blatant non-recyclables in there as well.) Why do people think we have a green and a blue box? Just for aesthetic value?

Our building management had apparently had enough with people’s willy-nilly attitude towards proper recycling and sent a helpful “reminder” email.1 I really hope that this solves the problem, although someone has already replied all to state that they view the choice as whichever container is least full. They suggested that the management label the bins. Why that person couldn’t just read the email and either commit it to memory or print it out for themselves, I have no idea. I would just like to remind them that recycling is the law in New York, and ignorance is no excuse of the law!


1 I have to point out that this is on the heels of the email we received reminding us that it was inappropriate to throw things out our windows. It’s as though we’re living in a dorm of unruly college students.

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One response to “ignorance is no excuse of the law

  1. It’s crazy how brazen city squirrels are…growing up in the country it’s weird to see them come right up to people.

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