The loud thuds of the garbage truck echo down the High School Branch valley each Wednesday morning. Walk along Wildcat Boulevard I think how this noisy machine has replaced one or two workers.

The loud thuds of the garbage truck echo down the High School Branch valley each Wednesday morning. Walk along Wildcat Boulevard I think how this noisy machine has replaced one or two workers.
I imagine the automatic machine costs company less than hiring a man or two with health insurance, unemployment benefits, etc. Yet it is much nosier than a man dumping garbage cans.
We had much less trash when I was growing up. Things were not wrapped as they are now. Today, things must be wrapped in plastic and cellophane to make sure no one has messed with the product. We would have never thought of anyone putting stuff in our food at the store. Kids can’t even get candy at Halloween without a fear that some kook will have put something in it.
Grandma Hively always made popcorn balls for the kids at Halloween. They were delicious and not sticky like some popcorn balls can be. Today, her popcorn balls would not be allowed. Isn’t that sad? They were the best.
We also did not have takeout foods like we do today. All these foods must be wrapped and put in a bag. Isn’t it nice that bananas are still sold without a plastic cover. The only thing some people do not like about bananas is that if you peel them and throw away the bone, there is nothing left. (An old joke.)
So many of our foods come in plastic containers. We save some of these for future use. Some can be recycled. Some, however, must be discarded.
I like aluminum and tin(steel) cans. They can be used, rinsed out, and recycled. Aluminum cans are especially good as they can easily be sold for scrap.
Quite a few tin cans are used in our house because of the painting, staining, and refinishing I do. If I cannot use them, I save them for the recyclers.
One thing we often use are plastic bags. We use them to coke chicken livers with flour and sliced okra with corn meal. Just put the product in the bag with the powder and shake it around. Then discard the bag. I also carry one with me on my walks to put aluminum cans I find along the way. I collect them until I have enough to make it worthwhile to sell.
I noticed at the Neosho/Newton County Library book sale plastic bags were made from 100% recycled plastic bags. I thought How cool is that?
In our home, all old clothing is cut up and used for rags. I use many rags when I stain furniture.
I deeply believe in the “recycle, reduce, and reuse” slogan of the recyclers. I do the best I can to not fill up the garbage can each Wednesday morning.
Take a walk, recycle what you can, watch for pedestrians who stop to pick up aluminum cans, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
 
Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.