If you've recently received a pink slip attached to your recycling bin, it's a natural reaction to be upset.

Unfortunately, the truth might be difficult to absorb, but here it goes: don't blame the recycling driver, blame yourself.

As I was driving home one day I noticed pink slips everywhere, taped to the sides of the town recycling bins. They are warning notices that were written up by a town executive to notify the recycling company (in this case Waste Management) to leave the bins and not collect the recyclables. Well, since I'm new to the area, I was unaware that this was actually a thing.

"Great," I muttered out loud, "I'll be shocked if I didn't get hit with a slip, too."

Turns out, I was indeed shocked because I aced the recyclable test. No pink slip on my recycling bin.

Later that night, I started to see a buzz of local residents and neighbors of mine still upset over the pink warnings who chose to direct their emotion toward the recycling drivers that drive about Swansea, responsible for picking up everyone's recyclables. Newsflash, people: once again, it's not their fault.

I placed a quick phone call over to the town's DPW and was told that every time someone recycles incorrectly, it's costing the town money. Therefore, if it's done right the first time, there won't be pink slips and the town can use the money for more efficient projects instead of paying upwards to $1,000 per week on fines for improper recycling from local residents. That's a little ridiculous if you ask me, and somehow a line must be drawn for potential yet positive change for the town's future.

Believe it or not, that very "change" is nothing more than proper recycling. Who knew?

After doing some research on the Town of Swansea's website, I was redirected to RecycleSmartMA.org for tips and tricks on old fashioned "how to" recycling. According to the website, here are all the acceptable things you can recycle:

  • Metal food and beverage cans (emptied and rinsed out)
  • Plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs (emptied, rinsed out and caps replaced)
  • Glass bottles and jars (emptied and rinsed out)
  • Paper and cardboard (emptied and flattened out)

Now here's what you're not supposed to put in the recyclable bins:

  • Plastic grocery bags, garbage bags or plastic wrap (and keep acceptable grouped recyclables out of plastic bags)
  • Food or liquid (empty those pizza boxes)
  • Clothing or linens
  • Hoses, wires, chains or electronics

Now that I have literally spoon-fed the "dos" and "don'ts," I'm hoping that we can come together as a community and do what's right for not only the town of Swansea, but effectively, the planet as a whole.

More information on how you can make a healthy and green financial impact on the town can also be found on Channel 15 on cable.

It's time to take pollution down to zero and start recycling the right way.

#CaptainPlanet #HesOurHero