Recycling (S04E20)

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Questions and Answers

Maria: Rory, do you recycle?

I suppose I try to. Whether or not I'm successful, it's another matter entirely. I think I'm better at reusing things or making them last than recycling them.

Maria: What kind of things do you recycle?

Oh... Well, you can recycle just about everything these days, can't you? I suppose things that I recycle the most are things like bottles and bags. I think everything that hasn't contained food at some point can be recycled, to be honest with you. And even then, some containers you just wash out and it's fine.

Maria: Did you learn about recycling when you were a child?

At school? I think it's more common nowadays. We used to be told a few things about it in class, but I don't think it's as comprehensive as it is now. People learn about the process of recycling and where everything goes, how to do it yourself at home. So I think they probably get it more than I used to.

Maria: Is it easy to recycle where you live?

Um, well, actually, in my hometown in Dundee, I think it's mandatory actually, to the extent that it's actually ruined the schedule for the bins getting taken out. And in Moscow, it's more of a voluntary process. You have recycling bins and you can choose whether or not to use them.

Maria: Do people usually recycle in your hometown?

Well, like I say, they have to I think it's like a local ordinance or a law or something like that. So, for example, you have to organize things into different bins. Like, every household has two or three different color coded bins, I suppose is the best way to describe them. And then you have to organize different things into the different bins. But I don't quite understand how that works or what prevents somebody from just throwing everything into the one bin. Like, are the people who pick up the bins going to refuse to take this or something like that? I'm not sure how it works, to be honest with you.

Maria: Do you think recycling is important?

Well, it's certainly not unimportant, but it isn't my highest priority. To be honest, I don't really think it's something that individual people should have to worry about. I think it's probably easier to send all the rubbish to a recycling center or something and have all the sorting and everything done there rather than getting people to do it themselves. Because if you give people their own individual bins for each kind of thing to recycling, so say you have a glass bin and a plastic bin and a food waste bin, then you've just created all of these plastic products. And surely that can't be so good. Would it not be easier just to pay people to organize it for you? I mean, that might be less, what's the word, production intensive, I guess, is the right one. So for me, it's important, but not for the right people, I think. Maybe that's an unrealistic idea. But that's my opinion.

Maria: Have your attitudes towards recycling changed over the last couple of years?

Well, yes, because I've got that more developed idea about how recycling should function. Although, generally speaking, I think I'm probably more environmentally friendly now than I used to be. Um, but I haven't. Or at least I don't think I've made any major changes to my lifestyle. Maybe I reuse things more than recycle them, but is that because it saves money or is that because I just want to recycle more? Probably, more the former than the latter.

Maria: Will you keep recycling in the future?

And I'll keep trying to. But it would be very helpful if the infrastructure for it was more developed in Moscow and certainly if it became more efficient back home, it would be much better, I think.


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