When folks think of recycling the image that usually comes to mind is well-sorted trash that is remade into other products, thus helping to keep our environment clean. But when we take a good look at what actually winds up in recycle bins... well, it's not so pretty.

Deer heads, diapers, and dog doo-doo do not belong in the recycling
County recycling center grapples with an increase of trash in its bins and tries to keep up. That was the headline in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Deer heads? There must be better ways of disposing of a deer head than dropping it in a recycling bin. I would not even put such a thing in the trash. At least bury it.

Steve Mann
Steve Mann


Many minor items are found that do not belong in the recycling bin. That means time and money must be spent sorting through what should have already been sorted out. But it's the stranger items that usually get our attention.

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How about a 5-gallon bucket that had been lined with a garbage bag and used as a toilet? That nasty bucket was found in the newspaper bin, poop and all. Perhaps the people dumping that, -- crap -- don't realize that there are people on the other end who have to clean it up.

Let's add to that list, hoses, paint cants, propane bottles, helium tanks, shoes, condoms. This list is long and, at times-  weird.

It's not just poop. Who's leaving bottles of urine in the recycling bins? Bags of dog pop are found in there too. It's nice for people to pick up their dog poop from other people's yards and the park. But don't put it in the recycling bin.

Volunteer girl in yellow gloves collects garbage selective focus

“We’re finding more trash — as in literal trash — being put into the recycling containers,” Superintendent of Solid Waste and Recycling Brenda Ashworth told the News&Guide. By June of this year, the contamination rate had increased again: to 3.43%, with 3,971 recycled tons and 136 tons of contamination.

If this is happening in just one town in Wyoming then lord knows what is happening elsewhere. I went looking and found several videos on the strange things that wound up in these bins. Here is one video, below.

There are always those responsible people who take the time to clean up after themselves. Some even leave a place better than they found it. Then there are those who just can't be bothered. I'll leave it to you to find the words to classify them.

In this past I've written articles showing how recycling newspapers is actually bad for the environment. It's a highly toxic process. It turns out it's much better to just make new paper and plant more trees when we cut them town, as we are already doing.


Recycling tin cans makes sense. But it is better to let nature take care of many other products. Not everything should go into the bin.

Many cities across America have either cut back on recycling or are just not doing it anymore.

Recently I saw a headline that said what humans have created outweighs life on this planet. 

Once again someone added up the numbers, poorly, and came to an improper conclusion. Then the news media shared it without thinking.

The headline of the story is about how we are reaching a point where all human-made objects, from buildings to cars and so on, will soon outweigh all living things on Earth.

But as the story is recycled these reporters can't seem to get it straight. We either are about to outweigh all living things or we now do. I keep seeing the headlines written one way or the other.

Humans build with materials from the Earth. That's right, all that you see that we have constructed is just rearranged Earth.

When we are done with it we either recycle it into another construction, or we return it to the Earth.

I once watched an old building being torn down. First workers went in and removed anything that could be used in new buildings, or to repair old buildings. Then the skeleton was taken down into a massive pile of rubble. That rubble was either recycled into new buildings or burred back into the Earth, where it came from.

There was a time when all of humanity left destruction behind whenever we built or produced energy. But now humanity has become far more responsible. America most of all. If you want to see a country that does not care about the environment look at China.


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