The failure was partly mine. Last Saturday, I had planned to recycle newspapers and cardboard at one of the county’s solid waste convenience centers.
But I got waylaid, partly by other errands but mostly with catching up on TV shows I had missed during the week: the season premiere of “The Blacklist,” a personal favorite; the first-ever episode of “Designated Survivor,” which began better than it ended; and the second episode of the second season of “Blindspot,” a series where it’s hard to really know who the bad guys are.
By the time the Heels had completed their come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh, the day was gone, and the old newspapers were still in my car. The cardboard was still in my office.
I knew the chances of accomplishing my task the next day were slim. I was pretty sure the convenience centers were closed on Sunday, and they were, because I checked. Memory told me too that South Smithfield Elementary School no longer had recycling bins. It didn’t. I couldn’t remember if Smithfield’s public works complex had recycling bins, but it didn’t matter, because Smithfield was locked up too.
Never miss a local story.
I thought about riding to Clayton, but I would have had no idea where to look. I live in Four Oaks, work mostly in Smithfield, so I’m not that familiar with what Clayton offers and where.
My point here is that while recycling is a good thing, it’s not always that convenient, at least in Johnston County.
The Town of Four Oaks, through private hauler Waste Industries, offers curbside recycling once a month, but the Bolejack household doesn’t always remember when that is, so we miss our chance, and the recycling piles up.
The county’s convenience centers, which offer recycling at no charge, are open six days a week, but you have to drive to one. The closest ones to me are on North Bright Leaf Boulevard in Smithfield and Swift Creek Road near the Johnston County Airport. Neither one is too far, but neither is as convenient as regular curbside recycling would be.
My biggest problem is newsprint. For papers at the house, the News & Observer and Wall Street Journal, my wife carries those to a friend who volunteers with an animal group. And when the Smithfield Herald office was downstairs at 228 E. Market St., we had a huge recycling container that the company would empty when it filled up. But now we’re upstairs, and one of those huge containers is neither going up nor down the stairs.
So the papers that have been piling up since the move are now in the back of my car, awaiting their chance at a second life. And yes, I must confess that I occasionally toss a few stray ones in one of the trash cans near the front of our building.
If had my druthers, the Town of Four Oaks would offer recycling more often. Short of that, my town or county would offer a recycling drop-off site that wasn’t locked up at night and on Sundays.
So I guess what I’m saying is that, yes, I want to do the right thing by recycling, but I want to do it on my terms. I know that sounds lazy and selfish, but I’m suspect I’m not alone in feeling that way.