The most dangerous phrase in the language is
“we’ve always done it this way.”
— Rear Adm. 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 or recycling pickup day. There are many recycling drop off facilities throughout Greene County.
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 the people who want to continue doing things “the way we’ve always done it” to shame. 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, depending on where you are located, there are hazardous waste facilities that can take these sharps and dispose of them safely.
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 by Lois Powers, administrator, Boone County Landfill, Boone County Recycling Center, Health & Sanitation, Keep Boone County Beautiful coordinator, Dragoon River Romp coordinator, 1268 224th Lane, Boone, 515-433-0591.