Would you Harm the Environment for $35?

I live in a small town that doesn’t offer trash and recycle pick-up for free like many large cities do. We have to pay for this service ourselves. There are three companies that offer trash pickup services. Two of them are very similar, just have slightly different prices. My parents (I live with them still if you didn’t know) would obviously choose the cheaper of those two. The third however, is different from the first two, it does not offer recycling pick-up. So here were my parents two options:

Option A: Trash and recycling services for 1 year.

Option B: Trash only, no recycling and Save $35 over the course of 1 year.

Yes this would mean we would throw away all of our bottles and newspapers etc. Surprisingly (to me) my parents chose Option B. I was very surprised when I heard this. I am kind of an environmentalist a little bit so this news made me sick to my stomach. It hurts every time I see my parents throw away a newspaper or glass bottle etc. I haven’t made a big fuss about it or anything like I usually do about things I like but it is eating away at me.

So I was wondering, am I just a big baby and should get over it? Which option would you choose? Is saving a little money worth it to you guys? I would love to hear what you guys think/ would do in this situation. Feel free to contact me or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you.


  1. Honestly I would go with option B as well. Perhaps it is the result of an experience I had growing up in Louisiana. The provider contracted by the parish where I lived did both trash pickup and recycling, and we religiously separated out every item that could be recycled and put it in the special bin. Well one day I happened to be home during the day the trash ran and I watched the trashmen take the recycle bin contents and dump them directly into the truck with the regular trash, and proceed to do this with every other bin down the street.

    So I guess it is an issue of trust for me. I do separate out the recyclables because the city provides the service free, but I wouldn’t pay for the privilege just because I don’t trust them to actually recycle the stuff.

  2. Hmmm. I think I would agree with the above commentator, I think I could do a better job than those folks if indeed all they do is dump the trash.

    Tony Tovar

    P.S. I’m so happy I live in a city where Recycling means a whole lot and lobbyist exist to make sure it is being down.

  3. I’ll take the other side of the coin and I’ve pretty frugal. I’m a strong proponent of being green also though – we have 2 separate bins, both picked up at the same time, but we live in Seattle, so the need is greater here, but for 3 bucks a month? I say why not. If you are so for it, how about telling your ‘rents that you’ll chip in the $3 to cover the price over the year. 😉

  4. @ Tony and Billy: Wow I’m kind of surprised that it isn’t a big deal to you guys either. Maybe its not that big of a deal.

    @ hank: I would have been willing to chip in the money for it. They just never told me about it until after they had already made their decision. I think its too late now, I think they signed up for it for a year. Next year, maybe I will speak up if I ever hear em talking about it.

  5. It’s probably NOT too late to change the contract (if it were the other way around, they might balk, but companies generally are more amenable to changing a contract when it means they’ll be getting more money. ) so I would be in touch with them just to ask.

    And I would also say make the change. It’s the RIGHT thing to do.

  6. @ Margaret: To get the service I would have to switch companies. It is not like 1 company was offer 2 separate services. The company they chose just happened to not do recycling, so I don’t think its an option.

  7. C: If you’re living with them, put up a couple bins for recycling and take them down yourself.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if your area has at least a simple recycling drop-off for newspapers, bottles, cans and the like. Ours had them in every public school parking lot.

  8. @ Mrs. Micah: Yea that would probably work. I am not that dedicated to the environment. Maybe its not that big of a deal. I would be willing to pay a little extra if they came to my house, but I think I am too lazy to drive somewhere every week. I live out in the country and the nearest place would probably be at leas a 15 minute drive just to get there.