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It’s always been done this way

Posted January 21, 2015 in Community Featured, Boone

The most dangerous phrase in the language is 

“we’ve always done it this way.” 

— Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

We’ve always done it this way.  How many times have I heard that statement and said it myself?  We sometimes take the easy way out and because it worked before we just keep doing it, not trying to see if “the way” was the best way.

Where would we be if people didn’t evaluate “the way it has always been done”?  More land would be used for landfills because “we always just throw it away”.  More contamination would be happening in our waterways because “we always just disposed of garbage, cars and machinery in ditches, ravines or creeks”.

I still have to chuckle when we have family events at our home.  Now I don’t want to tattle on some of the relatives but (whispering) they don’t recycle.  The thing is, since I am the recycling “cop” they do think about it at my home.  I see them starting to throw cans in the garbage and they will look at me and say, “do you want to recycle this?”  Um, YES!.  I may not have them recycling in their homes – YET – but the thought process is there.  Laziness isn’t always what I think as to why people don’t recycle.  I think they just don’t realize how easy it is and how much less garbage a person puts out each week if they just recycle.

Recycling doesn’t have to wait for the regular day the garbage man or woman picks up.  Our recycling drop off facility is open 24/7 with signage to tell you where to put your recyclable items.

Many, many years ago magazines weren’t recyclable because of the inks used in printing.  If safe, non hazardous inks hadn’t been developed, magazines would still be thrown in the garbage instead of being recycled.

Finding new, safer ways to handle products puts to shame the people who want to continue doing things “the way we’ve always done it”.  Individuals would just throw sharps in with their garbage causing garbage haulers, landfill personnel and individuals using the landfill to have a great chance of being pricked by the needle.  To help with the safety of these people, the Landfill takes sharps in rigid containers in our hazardous waste facility (not mik jugs – can you imagine what happens to that milk jug when a huge compactor rolls over it or even the wheel of any vehicle?)

The next time you hear yourself or someone else saying “we’ve always done it this way”, put your thinking cap on and see if that way is really the best way.

Information provided Lois Powers, administrator, Boone County Landfill/Recycling Center.





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