A Glass of Frustration

Waste bins in Toronto for municipal pick-up - ...

Waste bins in Toronto for municipal pick-up – the green bin is for organic waste (compost) (picked up weekly), the grey bin is for garbage (picked up bi-weekly) and the blue bin is for recycling (all recyclables) (picked up bi-weekly). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

0049-got_coffee_3-3-1Hello everybody,

Dusty’s feeling a little frustrated now. I just found out that in the metropolis I live in they’re changing who’s taking care of waste management. They’re the same people who also take care of the recycling program. They’re thinking of making a major change next year. They want to stop taking glass in with the other recycling materials. We have a three bin recycling program. One bin is for general garbage; another is for general recyclables; and the third is for organic wastes including kitchen and garden waste. The general recyclables include — at least for the moment — glass, metal, paper, cardboard, and plastic. They are most of the traditional recyclable materials in western cities.

The new company however says that broken glass contaminates all the other recyclables. That is why they want to stop collecting glass in the bin. They want to just collect glass in centralized bins at grocery stores and recycling centres. They’re saying that in other cities people have no problem with taking the glass products to the centralized collection centres. On the news in fact they did interviews with people in the cities. Everyone seemed to be happy with the system — taking the jars and bottles to the depots. Of course these were all people who were able to get the depot with no problem. They didn’t interview people who had problems with getting to a depot.

Recycle for Greater Manchester

Recycle for Greater Manchester (Photo credit: The Laird of Oldham)

What of people who had no cars? How are they to get bottles and jars to the depots? There are many people who don’t have cars in this world today. Some by choice; some for economic reasons; some for health reasons; and some for legal reasons. We encourage people to get out of their cars and take public transit. This means people are giving up their cars because they don’t need them. For others cars are not an option. How are they to get their recycling to a depot? Do we expect them to take their recycling on the bus? Essentially are they expected to wash their garbage put it in a bag and take it on public transit to the depot whether it is at a recycling station by a grocery store or in some industrial park?

This is why Dusty is frustrated.

It is a step backward. Many people who are currently recycling their jars and bottles will simply say “No!”. They will begin simply placing their jars and bottles in with the general trash, or mix it with the other recyclables. This will be a problem for the recycling company when they try to separate it.

Recycle-get this...

Recycle-get this… (Photo credit: practicalowl)

The secret to making recycling commonplace for the average householder is to make it simple and easy to do. It is already a lot to ask people to divide their garbage into three categories. Things are simplified by having three large bins to throw it into — but the more things that are exceptions and have to be taken to a transfer station in some industrial park, the less people are apt to comply.

Like I said, this is why Dusty is frustrated.

Bye for now!

Dusty
D. Cluttermouse.

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The Bouquet of Flowers that Cleaned a House

Have you ever heard of the bouquet of flowers that cleaned a house?
A woman – let’s call her Irene – who had a problem with clutter and who was overwhelmed with the state of her home was given a bouquet of flowers by someone who cared about her in hopes that the spring blooms would cheer her up. I am not sure if the gift giver included a vase, but I think in such a situation that I would considering just how much anxiety it might cause someone who might not be able to put their hands on one right away.

In any case Irene looked for where she could put the flowers and could see that one place she might put them was a messy coffee table in the corner of her living room. She had to do a bit of work to clear a space for the flowers so they could sit on the table even at that.

Irene looked at the beautiful bouquet sitting on the cluttered table and decided she might clean the end of the table the flowers were sitting on so they might look a bit better.

The flowers looked just beautiful sitting on the end of the coffee table, but thought how much better they would look in the centre of the table if she would just clean the other side of the table. So Irene spent a half hour and cleared off the other half of the table. The flowers looked even better sitting in the middle of the table and Irene was pleased. But she saw how dusty and grimy the table was… or at least the spots of the table that weren’t covered by clutter. So she got out an old towel and a bottle of furniture polish/cleaner she had and she dusted the table.

Irene was very happy at how the table now shone and reflected the beauty of the flowers in the fine grain of the wood. But it also reflected the stack of boxes by the curtains and the Chesterfield covered with coats, books, and file boxes. So Irene went on and sorted through the books and file boxes on the couch returning the coats to the cloak closest and the books and file boxes to the office and bookshelves. That took the afternoon, but nearly half the living room looked so very nice and inviting! She sat on the now cleared Chesterfield and looked at her flowers… and saw how dingy the rest of the room looked. It wouldn’t take very long to straighten the rest of the room…

The next day dawned and Irene was welcomed by a beautiful clean living room. It really did not take her long into the evening. It was a bit of work but she did a bit at a time and she even considered showing it off… at least to the friend who brought the flowers. They would marvel at the change.

Irene sat for a while and considered how cluttered the entrance hall looked…

Well, one room at a time she got that house straightened up. One bit inspired her to do the next. Being able to reopen an area to use as it was intended was a great incentive to her.

Of course, many of us have more clutter than just “straightening up” and returning things to their proper places will cure. Part of our problem is that we have more pegs than holes regardless of whether they are square or round. Still the idea of a bit at a time and having that bit inspire us is important.

Another crucial element is having that initial impetus. And I think that a positive impetus is better than a negative one. Rather than a deadline before guests arrive or a landlord’s visit or a move – something like receiving something that isn’t overwhelming, but nice would be good. Or a good friend offering to help with some difficult task that you are ready to do.

It is very important that the task be one you are ready for as well, I figure.

For me… at the moment my incentive an impetus can come from rediscovery of something I need or miss in amongst my moving boxes… after a season I still have boxes I haven’t opened.

I still wish for some sort of magic genie to come down to help… I guess I have to go a box or shelf at a time until then. I still hope to at least “look” into a box a day.

~ Dusty
D Cluttermouse

__________
I am broadly paraphrasing a story that I have heard from a number of sources. The idea though is captured with perhaps a bit of my own slant on it… oh, and “Chesterfield” is another name for a “Sofa” or “Couch” that I thought I might throw in for colour.

Where to Turn?

One of the big hurdles I face is knowing where to turn…

I have health issues including serious long term depression and complications due to diabetes and they make it difficult for me to get a lot done. That means that even if I intend to and work at getting things done to reduce my cluttered living space under control I can be thwarted by fatigue and overwhelming waves of anxiety. For me doing the emotional work required to downsize and sort through and reduce what I own is very serious and even when I can, I might not have the physical stamina to follow through.

My brother-in-law is willing to help by taking stuff to the dump when I need to. I have a few friends who might help as well, but they have limited resources which have kept them from doing a lot… also are not really responsible for helping me out.

My problem is trying to figure out someone who might help me out…

What I need is someone to come in for a few hours at a time a few times a week to help me go through things. It might mean them putting in a fair amount of emotional energy and not being judgemental as my clutter is considerable — at least to those who are not used to such things. My clutter situation is small compared to many who suffer from this problem though large compared with people who do not have an actual problem with it beyond normal disorganization.

I know there are companies who do this sort of thing, but I am not on an income that allows for that sort of thing.

I have some thoughts as to who to turn to and where I might not be able to turn to my friends for coming to my place to help those hours a week, perhaps I might turn to them for help in finding the help I need.

I do wonder what resources are out there?

Much of what I see of course are American and the situation there is different somewhat than here as I do have some health care resources that my American cousins on Disability might not have.

I shall pass on to you what I do find out though — whether American, Canadian, or other countries — as I find them out.