How glass is recycled

I have been gone from this blog for a very, very long time, but I am back to show you this very awesome video. For a while now, I have been badly wanting to make a documentary of sorts about our recycling system. I thought of trying to work with my school-town’s waste management program, which seemed very helpful in the past when I made slideshow,  and follow their every move. From the time someone brought their trash to the curb to the recycling plants (Which depending on the type of recyclable, it could be taken by truck to places on the other side of the US. Yeah, the recycling system, I’ve learned, is very inefficient) and then I would follow the unrecycled trash to landfill. My dream is to someday make this journey a reality on film, but people are so touchy about their trash. Their ashamed and disgusted by it, so they hide. But the huge lengths we go to hide the trash also hides the problem and makes people so blind and unaware they need to do something to change their ways. All this, plus it’s even illegal to take pictures at a landfill, so I figured I should wait until I’m done with school with a clean plate and hopefully some more video experience before trying to tackle this project.

Now this little video is awesome to me because it shows part of the journey I wish document, but also because the market for recycled glass is microscopic. Most recycling programs don’t accept glass and if they do, it might still end up in the landfill, which sucks because glass NEVER EVER, not in a million years, decomposes. But I’m sure the market is small because it takes so much energy to melt down the glass, but this video gives me hope they can come up with an efficient system and it’s just plain cool.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/67692057″>Secrets From The Recycling Plant: How A Used Bottle Becomes A New Bottle</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3572793″>Planet Money</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Advertisements

Waste-free holiday

I hate to be so bahumbug about one of my and most people’s favorite holiday, but it’s a fact. Christmas is the most wasteful holiday.

According to recycleworks.org, from thanksgiving to new years’, our household waste increases by more than 25 percent. With everything from added food waste, to wrapping, packaging, it adds up to over 1 million tons a week going into a landfill.

Half the paper used in America is used to wrap products. And the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold in America (so this doesn’t include the cards not sold that are thrown away) could fill a football field for up to 10 stories.

If everyone reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, it would add up to enough to tie a bow around the planet. How’s that for a Christmas present to us and the Earth?

Food waste is also one of the biggest waste contributors. Food waste makes up to a quarter of the garbage thrown away during Thanksgiving and New Year’s. A household of four could save an average $100-$125 by reducing food waste.

The good news is that both of these problems have solutions.

To address our overconsumption of paper:

  1. Save wrapping paper this year to use for next year. It takes a bit of effort and patience from everyone involved because everyone has to wait while you carefully unwrap your presents.
  2. Use recycled paper products. Recycled cards, wrapping paper, bags, etc. And you could always send an e-card, instead of paper. If everyone sent one less card we could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.
  3. Use alternatives to the conventional wrapping paper. Newspapers, reusable bags (which is a gift in itself and it keeps on giving), use bags or used boxes, paper bags from the store, fabric, (fabric is harder to rip to shred, which makes it easier to reuse) jars or cans (mixes are adorable in jars), I will also tell you, unashamedly, that part of my parents gifts were wrapped in Pringle’s cans. Let your creativity run wild and feel no shame.
  4. Upcycle your paper. Most of these things are super easy. Gifts bags made from newspaper or wrapping paper, bows made from any kind of paper, paper confetti (we used brown packing paper and some used wrapping paper that wasn’t in such good shape and shredded with a paper shredder).
    Step 8

    Bows made from wrapping paper.

    Paper shred/confetti

    Packing confetti made from shipping paper and old wrapping paper

And for our waste of food? Mostly it has to do with planning ahead. Planning portion sizes, what people tend to eat more or less of, how you plan to store it, etc.

  1. This site, love food, hate waste, is site teaching about food waste and how to cut down. The statistics are based from the UK, but the principles can be applied anywhere. It helps with planning portion, storing and recipes so you can use the same ingredients in a different recipe.
  2. You can also donate it. I feel a little iffy about this sometimes, but if you can find a homeless shelter who will take unpackaged food then why not?
  3. Have a potluck. Everyone bring a dish and take home the leftovers.
  4. Embrace the leftovers. I’m not a big fan of leftovers, but some things like pie can never be eaten too many times. I try to just think of everything as leftover pie.
  5. Compost your plain, raw fruits and veggies.

The main thing is to be aware of the waste and take it into a count when planning your holiday festivities. Feel free to leave a comment on how you plan to cut down waste during the holiday season.

Stress-free Holidays?

I can’t sleep. I’m mentally exhausted, but my brain keeps going and I can’t sleep. I haven’t posted in a while. Partly because I’ve been busy making Christmas presents, partly because I’ve been busy learning to be a drone in society. That’s all school really is, you know? This post started out as a horribly pessimistic post, but then just writing was already making me feel better, so I’m going to talk about something else.

My mother, God bless her, is doing a loose no-spend December plan. It started out that she wasn’t going to buy anything at all. She was going to have all her Christmas shopping done, all her food stocked, everything she needed to enjoy the holiday without being bogged down by commercialism. She wanted these holidays to be fun, not stressful. Sounds good, right? Then she realized stressing out about not being able to buy anything wasn’t fun, so she decided to buy from locally-owned stores or as locally as possible. This means supporting our local restaurants, local hair and nail salons (which we seem to have a ton of and luckily our trusty hair dresser just so happens to be apart of a local place) local stores, which we don’t have a ton of, but that’s why she got her shopping done early. Her gift ideas are also noteworthy, but I can’t say until after Christmas.

We’re not a huge town, so we don’t have too many options. Most people go to a bigger city that is about an hour from here, which hurts the local economy even more. Companies decide to locate in cities based on how companies like them are being supported in that particular city. Because people always go to another city to buy stuff, our mall, (yeah, we actually had a real mall. It didn’t have very much stuff, but still, it’s something) is about to close. It’s kind of official according to my inside source. And that sucks. But anyway. Limited gas and perishable items are all she’s buying. And I gotta say, I’m proud of her. When I first started all this recycle more, waste less, consume less nonsense, she just jumped on board. No questions asked. And the way she raised me got me to the place where I could have the…I guess I would say the mental ability to comprehend such a life that doesn’t revolve around stuff. I’m a pretty lucky gal.

I am following in my mother’s footsteps with her no spend December plan. I did the last of my Christmas shopping on Monday (from a used book store, which should count even though it’s not my home economy), but it was for my angel tree people, which are a couple of senior citizens who are spending their Christmas in nursing home. I thought I could make the exception. Usually, I go way overboard because the thought of these people, who just ask for something so small and simple like socks or a book of crosswords or something, not getting anything breaks my heart. This year I curbed back and I guess I’m happy with that. So far, everyone else’s gifts are made, which I’m extremely happy about. I can’t give you the DIYs just yet because then they would know what it is and that would ruin the surprise. We’re having a small Christmas, not a lot of gifts, not a lot of waste, but we’ll be with family and that’s what matters.

I hope you all are having a stress-free holiday. Feel free to give your ideas for a waste-free holiday!

Waste not, want not

Grist

Consider the extraordinary efforts we undertake to secure a barrel of oil. Lives lost from wars. Oil-rig blowouts. Cancer clusters downwind of refineries. 100,000 premature deaths each year in America alone when we combust the stuff in our engines. Consider the 28 million tons of plastic waste we send to landfills each year, essentially re-burying the oil in the earth, but this time in places that make it virtually impossible to recover. Then we repeat the process over and over again.

What if we could mitigate at least some of this madness by putting those waste plastics to productive uses? What about the other 140 million tons of other types of waste that we send to landfills each year? Bottom line — is a zero-waste society plausible and profitable, or just a pipe dream?

In 1989, California passed a law that mandated diversion of 50 percent of solid waste away…

View original post 480 more words

Ocean Pollution

Historically, the disposal of wastes into water by humans was universally practiced. It was a cheap and convenient way to rid society of food wastes (e.g., cleaned carcasses, shells, etc.), trash, mining wastes, and human wastes (or sewage). The advent of the Industrial Age brought with it the new problem of chemical wastes and by-products: These were also commonly disposed of in the water.

Around 267 species around the world are harmed by plastic, 44% of seabirds, 43% of ocean mammals, and 86% of sea turtles ingest or become tangled in plastic. http://www.savemyoceans.com/plastics.php

Marine debris is man made waste that is directly or indirectly disposed of in oceans, rivers, and other waterways.  Most trash reaches the seas via rivers, and 80% originates from landfills and other urban sources.  This waste, which is also consumed by fish and can entangle sharks and damage coral reefs, tends to accumulate in gyres (areas of slow spiraling water and low winds) and along coastlines.

There are 5 major ocean gyres worldwide.  In the Pacific Ocean, the North Pacific Gyre is home to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, a large area that is approximately the size of Texas with debris extending 20 feet (6 meters) down into the water column.  It’s

estimated that this “plastic island” contains 3.5 million tons of trash and could double in size in the next 5 years(I’ve heard the size is an exaggeration. I have not seen it myself so I’m not sure, but just so you know both sides. I will however point out that if all the pollution in the ocean came together, I’m sure there would be no need to exaggerate.)  Researchers have also estimated that for every 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of plankton in this area, there is 13.2 pounds (6 kilograms) of plastic.  Common marine debris items includes things like cigarette butts, cans, plastic bags and bottles, styrofoam, balloons, lighters, and toothbrushes.  Discarded or lost fishing gear such as lines, nets and buoys are especially dangerous to sea life.

Plastic bags seem to be death’s right hand man. They don’t biodegrade, break up and release toxins and chemicals into the environment. Sea turtles and other marine creatures mistake plastic and other garbage as food (like jellyfish) and ingest it. The plastic causes blockages within their digestive system and eventually death. If they don’t die from the blockage then we fish for them and those toxins end on our plates and in our bodies. According the EPA, Americans use more than 380 billion plastic bags and wraps a year. It takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce this many bags. The world uses a trillion bags which uses 100 million barrels of oil. All our problems of fighting over oil could be dwindled down to just a few, if we would quit being so lazy and use reusable bags.

Coastal development is another problem that people have caused for the ocean environment. It is a broad category that includes an array of human activities including beachfront construction of homes, hotels, restaurants, and roads, often for tourism, beach renourishment, seawall construction, and near shore dredging and oil platform construction.  Half of the world’s population lives on or within 100 miles of a coastline and this number will likely increase dramatically in the next decade.  The human alteration of coastlines forces nesting females to use other beaches, changes the properties of nesting beaches, and contributes to the pollution of sea turtle habitat from runoff and wastewater discharge.

Increased coastal populations result in increased recreation and beach going vehicles. Objects left on beaches, like beach chairs, create obstacles for nesting females, sometimes resulting in failed nesting attempts.  Obstacles on beaches can also be hazards to hatchlings as they get trapped in depressions and are unable to make it to the ocean.  Seawall construction creates impenetrable barriers to nesting females and causes unnatural erosion of beaches.  Boats and personal watercraft are responsible for large numbers of sea turtle injuries and deaths.  As coastal populations increase, boating activities increase and collisions with sea turtles that must surface to breathe, are inevitable.

http://www.seeturtles.org/1128/ocean-plastic.html

So what can we do about it?

1. Get educated and share your knowledge!

2. Don’t pour oil, engine fluids, cleaners, or household chemicals down storm drains or sinks.

3. Find approved motor oil and household chemical recycling or disposal facilities near your home, and make sure your family and friends use them.

4. Use lawn, garden and farm chemicals sparingly and wisely. Before spreading chemicals or fertilizer, check the weather forecast for rain so they don’t wash away.

5. Repair automobile or boat engine leaks immediately.

6. Don’t litter- trash gets blown in the wind, and eventually will find its way to the ocean. If you find litter pick it up and recycle if you can.

7. The transportation to landfills and recycle centers isn’t always the most environmentally friendly practice. It uses a lot of gas, but also if the trash isn’t covered properly then it flies everywhere which leads to my last point, try to use as little packaging as possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables use less packaging. Use reusable plastic bags. By in bulk or the largest quantity and avoid small individual packages of any product or consumable greatly reduces the amount of paper or boxboard that you buy and throw away. Of course, don’t buy large quantities if the food would spoil before it is used.

8. Reuse any packaging that you can. Save plastic bags, newspapers, packing peanuts, other packing materials and reuse them as packing materials. Use boxes and big containers for storage, by real plates, cups and silverware instead of using plastic.

Chapter 3: Walking the Walk

Previous Chapters: one and two.

Chapter 3: Walking the Walk

                        Last night, Angus went knocking on Death’s door and he was welcomed with open arms. The struggle had gone on for weeks, but finally Angus has been relieved. Since there is nothing left of his red body, we’re having more of a ceremony than a burial. Where would we even bury a body anyway? Any place here would be a disgrace. Most around here deserve better than that.

Hardly anyone showed because they are tired of being confronted by what they are trying to avoid. Ever since I had met Angus in the dumpster, he was bitter about the end he knew would come. He lost his hope of being rescued when he left the city. I realize that I have lost hope. The trash around here has tried to convince me that it’s hopeless and I have let them.

Fiona was at the funeral and afterwards she comes up to me.

“Hey. I haven’t seen you around in a while,” I say.

“Yeah, I’ve been doing some thinking,” she responds. “You were right. Not about people coming to get us because that is obviously never going to happen, but about being such an optimist. We shouldn’t accept our fate. We may not be rescued by someone else, but we can still rescue ourselves. We can go to the recycling center. We can have a new life. Angus’ death helped me realize that I don’t want to die here. I would rather die trying to get out then to die here.”

“Wow, I didn’t see this coming,” I pause to consider the idea, “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

“Are you kidding? You would rather putrefy in this God forsaken place then just take a chance? If you stay here you will die. You talked to Polly; no one comes here. If you want to get out, you have to get yourself out,” she says, each word getting louder.

I consider what she has said then shake my head.

“I can’t. For me it’s the opposite of what you’ve said. I’m only a spoon. I’m not smart like you. I know that if I try to get out then I will die, but if I wait someone could come.” I say still hopeful.

“God. If you would take some of that belief you have in other people that care nothing about you and invest it in yourself, you could be a lot more productive. But whatever, it’s your choice. I’ll be leaving for the recycling center in a couple of days, so when you decide to stop being a coward come and find me,” she tells me.

She leaves me stunned and all I can do is watch her go. There was no point in me chasing after her, so I just went back to the bag I had found and started to live in. She is right. I am a coward and she probably is also right about no one coming to save me. If I want a chance then I’ll have to fight for it because no one else is going to give it to me.  That’s all life has been shouting at me since the day I was made. She is right. The question is will I have the courage to do anything about it.

I look across the mountain of waste that is viewable from my bag; most of it is lost forever. I still have the ability to change my situation, but in a few months I’ll be so broken I won’t even be able to turn my head from the mountain. I realize now that I would much rather be dead than being a miserable rot. I won’t give myself time to second guess, but there is something I need to do first.

I start to ascend the mountains on the way to the island that Fiona had brought me to a few weeks ago. At the peak of the mountain, I immediately spot Polly who now looked so much worse. She may not be able to decompose, but she is now broken into many more pieces. Even as I stand before her, she doesn’t look up.

“Polly,” I say quietly.

Her eyes rise slowly and lock with mine. They are lifeless.

“Fiona and I are going to try and escape. We’re going to the recycling center. I want you to come with us,” I say, still quiet.

She says nothing and she gives no indication that she will even consider my proposal.

“We may not make it. We probably won’t. But I would rather die out there with hope than die in here like we are right now,” I say.

I stop to let what I’ve said soak in. She gives no response.

“We’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. I desperately hope you will meet and come with us,” I say and leave her to consider my offer.

I wake up to the sound of birds crying. Sometimes I wish they would cry for justice for us, but even if they were, no one is around to hear them.  I groan in contempt for what I hope is the last time. I don’t have to walk far before I see Fiona; even from far away I can see her screen beaming with delight. I rush to her and hug her as if my life depends on it. It does depend on her.

“Is Polly coming?” I ask hopefully.

Her face fell. “No. This morning some more trash trucks came in and the island was buried. She is stuck. There is really no hope for her now.”

She saw the guilt covering my face.

“You tried to get her to come. She had already made her decision then. If she had already decided to come then she wouldn’t have been on the island anyway. There is nothing you could have done,” she says pulling me toward the entrance of the landfill.

Miles stand between us and our destination.

We are now almost there, but it’s about to get far more dangerous. We hear a horrid screeching of a trash trucks coming our way. We start to run, but it is already too late. We get thrown to the ground, pounded into the top layers of trash. The sound is deafening; it’s like being at the bottom of hundreds of waterfalls. Fiona yells something at me, but I can’t hear her. I feel like I’m being broken in half. An eternity goes by, but finally, it’s over. Fortunately, I’m not packed in the trash and I can start to wiggle my way out. When I reach the top, I see Fiona standing. I am thoroughly relieved, but I am noticing a crack splitting her face.

“What happened?” I ask rushing to her.

“Well, I managed to stay on top by wiggling my way up layer by layer instead of waiting and letting trap me at the bottom. It came with a price because it all fell directly on me instead of letting the upper layer take some of the blows,” she cackles from her microphone.

“Come on we need go before they come back.”

As we walk, she has to continuously wipe the chemicals off because they’re blinding her only eye as they poor down her face.

We have made it outside the gates that have surrounded us for all this time. We are met with deserted land. Spaceless, timeless, but we hear the noise from the busy streets even as they are so far away. We run towards that noise as if its energy is what will keep us alive; the noise guides like the North Star. I stop just before we are within the drivers’ view.

“Wait! Won’t they thinks unnatural for us to be up and walking around,” I ask with sudden panic.

She, once again, bursts into laughter. I’m really tired of that.

“You’re still so pathetic. Haven’t I convinced you already? No one cares about us. All that,” she waves behind her, “what we just came from, the pollution, the smells, the health problems, all of it has been happening right under their noses. They haven’t noticed and if they have then they don’t care. They’re busy. They have no time to care about anything, but their own problems. I assure you, they’re not going to notice a couple of pieces of ‘misplaced’ litter.”

That settles that. Once again, believing in people has made me an idiot.

Cars are backed up, bumper to bumper and the traffic is going nowhere. We choke on the obnoxious fumes. It’s deafening, but we decide that it was the best time to move since the cars weren’t moving. We walk across the lanes of cars, slowly, but somewhat safely. The light turns green and it doesn’t take much to realize that we’re out of time. I quickly move to the middle of the lane, so that I won’t be stuck where the tires were. Fiona was not as lucky though. I turn in horror to see just as a set of tires roll over her and I hear her frame crack.

“Fiona!” I cry running to her. I barely escape my own set of tires, but I get to her and drag her to the middle of the lane. We can wait until the traffic dies down and get across safely.

The light turns red which is our only chance we have to make it. I haul her to the curb where we both collapse. I have never been so afraid in my life. The recycling center is only 50 feet away; its sign is a beacon. Fiona is not in good shape, but I know we can make it.

“It’s not too far. We can get there. Come on,” I say as I gather all my courage and strength to get both Fiona and myself there.

I knew she couldn’t make it without my help. We limp towards the recycling center; with each step it seems to get farther and farther away. People crowd the sidewalks and we can’t go fast enough to avoid meeting the bottom of someone’s shoe. We move over and hug the wall that lines the sidewalk.  Fiona hobbled nearest to the wall and I was closest to the dangerous elements. Almost there. Five feet away, but Fiona has to stop. She’s leaking everywhere. I move over to let her have some breathing room which is the biggest mistake I could have made. Someone steps on me. Fiona was right. I don’t even think they noticed and I know for sure that they didn’t check if I was okay. I look back and realize that my handle is hanging on by a thread.

“You have to go. You have to make it,” I tell her.

“So do you! We’re almost there,” she yells trying to be heard over all the ruckus.

“Alright, come on,” I say pulling myself up.

Fiona makes it and I feel a wave of relief and I give myself permission to stop. One of us made it. That is good enough. I lie down and close my eyes. I feel pressure and a rush as I am picked up. My eyes jerk open and I find myself being put into a receptacle full of trash.

“No!” I start to yell and thrash with new found energy.

I made it all this way and it was all for nothing. Even until this moment I was naïve enough to believe that people would care.  I fall on a pile of plastic. Not unlike the dumpster, the smell was overwhelming; I feel just like I did then. It’s the worst feeling, knowing I was wrong.

“What’s happening?” I ask disoriented.

“Welcome to the recycling bins. It’s where you go when someone realizes your potential,” said a plastic bottle.

I sigh with relief. I am home.

Chapter 2: Cause and Effect

If you haven’t read chapter one, you can catch up here.

Chapter 2: Cause and Effect

Now I’m just part of the 160 million pounds of trash thrown away. Since most landfills are designed not to degrade because of the toxic chemicals that would leach into the water system, we won’t even get the sweet release of death.

I seem to be fading in and out of consciousness. The smell, oh the horrid reek is enough to make me nauseous. Every time I wake up I expect to be back home with my siblings or rescued, but here I still am. I turn my head and find something staring at me.

I groan, “What? What are you looking at?”

“Well, you were drooling and I was fascinated,” says the object.

“Ugh,” is my reply as I wipe the drool from my scoop.

“What are you anyway?” I ask the object who is still staring.

“Well, first I’m a who. My name is Fiona and I am an iphone,” she replies.

I had heard of those. Both Mark and Lucy had one, but they too had replaced theirs not too long ago. ‘Smart phones’ they had called them. I look at her from top to bottom. Nothing appeared to be physically wrong with her and she seemed smart enough.

“Why are you here?” I ask.

“Here talking to you? I really have no idea, you’re quite dull. Thanks for saving me the time of trying to figure how to point it out without being rude,” she replies and turns around to scoot away.

“No, I didn’t mean that. I’ll try to ignore the fact that you just called me dull though. I meant why are you in the landfill,” I reply.

“Oh. Sorry. Well, not really. You are dull, but I guess you can’t help that. I’m here for the same reason that everyone else is. I am an iphone 4 and the iphone 4s came out, so off I went. The only major differences between me and those created after me is they have a slightly better camera and video recorder and Siri. Siri is a freakin’ snob, but everyone seems to love it. Because of all these things that no one really needs I’m only an afterthought and I’ve been sent here to waste away in this mess where I will soon be leaching the toxins that people put inside me back into their water supply so they can drink it. Ironic right? For a year all I did was listen to my owner’s pathetic conversations about her stupid boyfriend, never even saying a word about how brainless she sounded. Siri seems to be a bit of a smart aleck. I wonder if she’s been able to hold her tongue,” she pauses to consider the idea.  “Anyways, this is the reward I get for my own brainless servitude,” she spat bitterly.

“Yeah, well at least you got to be used for a little while. No one wanted to use me at all,” I retort.

She looks at me with her small black eye and there is a sense of sadness there now.

“Yeah, that does suck,” she says.

“That’s okay, I’m going to be rescued pretty soon and then I’ll be upcycled,” I reply with a sudden spark of hope.

She gives a burst of laughter, “Oh! You’re even more naïve than I was when I first got here.”

“What do you mean? There’s a whole group. Angus told me all about them. They are going to come and rescue me,” I exclaim.

Fiona laughs again, “There is somebody that you need to meet.”

I follow Fiona because I don’t know where to go and she leads me an even smaller pile on the island littered with broken bodies and hearts. It looks old, depressing and just down in the dumps like a hospice where people go to die. She stands in front of a block of Styrofoam.

“This is Polystyrene. We call her Polly for short,” she turns to Polly, “This is Dixie. He’s a newbie.”

Fiona lies down beside Polly and I sit down beside her. I look at Polly who is now looking at me with her lifeless eyes.

“Hello, Polly. It’s nice to meet you although under unfortunate circumstances,” I say.

“Yes, Dixie here believes that someone is going to rescue him,” she says trying to keep laughter out of her voice, “What do you think about that?”

For just a second there is a spark in Polly’s eyes. I guess somebody might as well benefit from my misery if it can’t be me.

“I think he is in for a rude awakening,” her voice cracked.

“I’ve been here for over fifty years and other than the people who dump more stuff on us, I haven’t seen one person even look our way,” she says, her voice raspy from years of breathing in toxins.

“You’ve been here for fifty years!?” I ask astounded by the very thought.

“Yes and I was made to last for at least one million or at most infinite. I have too far to go,” she says.

I cry, “One million years! How is that even possible?”

“Styrofoam is synthetic and there are no organisms that have enzymes to digest it, so we’re doomed to stay here for eternity. Plastic goes through photodegradation which means they need sunlight to decompose. Most trash gets buried either underneath the earth or underneath more trash, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable for me to say most plastic may never decompose. This goes for all plastic, but we’re all made up of many toxins and chemicals, so if we did decompose, we would end up leaking them into the ground water. Too bad we don’t, otherwise humans might actually get some pay back for what they’ve done. They need to be reminded that if there is a cause there is always an effect. Even here,” she says.

I am shocked to hear what she said. I’m plastic. If what she said is correct, then it means I’d be destined to stay in this wasteland forever. I don’t know how to accept that. Then I hear her say those horrible things about people.

“What do you mean? You don’t think they would rescue us if they knew we were here? I know they would,” I protest.

“Then you’re even more of an idiot then I could have thought. Of course they don’t care. They’re the ones who put us in here,” she says.

I am taken aback by her comment. I don’t think I’m an idiot. I think about Mark and Lucy. Would they care? I think so. They cared about their children, about their job, about money, and I think about each other, so why wouldn’t they care about me?

“Maybe they would if they knew what happened to us afterward…” I start.

“Save your breath kid, your optimism is making me cranky,” she says.

I stop, shocked by her attitude. She is still waving me, so I guess it’s time for me to go. I turn away from the sad sight of the defeated items and make my way back to my living space. I don’t know what happened to Fiona or when I realized she wasn’t with me.

A couple of weeks have gone by. I haven’t heard from Fiona. All I have done is sit, think and watch Angus rot. It’s horrible and I’m depressed because I don’t know what to do. The idea that maybe nobody really cares about what they’ve done to me or to the friends I’ve made here is one I don’t want to believe. I don’t know what to do, but giving up is not an option. For the meantime, I sit here with my friend Angus while he suffers an unwarranted death that was not meant to be. My only hope is that someday someone will do the same for me if I need them to.

Birds chirp, the roar of trash trucks is enough to awake me with a jerk. The sky is cloudy, dreary and overly depressing. I turn to check on Angus and see that birds have taken huge chunks out of him. I scramble and slap his face trying to see if he would wake up. I hear a weak groan. It’s a disappointment almost because I know how much pain he must be in.

“Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help?” I ask frantically.

“Please, please just put me out of my misery,” he croaks.

I held his hand, “You know I can’t do that. I could cut you up into tiny pieces and you wouldn’t be any more dead then you are now.”

“If you cut me up into tiny pieces then each smaller piece will decompose faster than this large piece. I can’t…” he stops with a wince, “It’s too much. You have to do something.”

“I can’t. All I can I do is stay with you. You know I’m not strong enough,” I plead.

His silence is more disheartening than his complaining. My only hope is that death will come and save him soon.