One thing that has bugged me is the inexplicable indifference to recycling here in Pittsburgh. University buildings and some enlightened establishments often have containers for recycling, but you could walk several miles on the street without ever seeing a bin. The policies for curbside recycling are opaque and obstructionist. It’s so bad that I don’t even really care about recycling and I’m annoyed by it.
I think I stumbled on the explanation for it Monday. I glanced at a trashcan featuring the omnipresent anti-littering signs, and realized that they were the reason. Right now, the fight is to recognize that things go in a can once you’ve used them. Only once that’s been mastered is it safe to introduce a distinction between two types of cans. We wouldn’t want to lose the progress we’ve made by confusing people.