Posts tagged “recycle”

Recycling recursion

As a recent transplant to the California coast I am both impressed and confounded by local recycling requirements. Fortunately there are plenty of experts willing to share with me a blend of fact and urban myth (i.e. Will I really get a terrible fine in San Francisco if I don’t put my coffee grounds in the right bin? It seems exaggerated yet entirely possible). I also have instructions provided by the city which are surprisingly thorough and (two enthusiastic thumbs up!) include photos so it serves as a great quick visual reference.


With the exception of outliers like dryer lint (isn’t that compostable? I feel like fabric castoffs should be but the popular consensus among those I’ve polled is that lint is just plain trash), I feel like I am getting the hang of this. Then comes cleaning day here at Portigal Consulting. I head out to the building’s communal recycling bin to dispose of the confetti created by our paper shredder and there, in the recycling bin, I encounter an actual paper shredder.


Is this is my first encounter with recycler humor? A jest from one tenant to another? Is the idea here that consumer electronics which create recyclable waste can, in turn, be recycled with said waste? Perhaps this person did not consult the handy resource guide, which (sadly) makes no mention of consumer electronics.


(see similar recycling icons as well as what they mean here)

My hair gel comes in a plastic container that doesn’t have any such logo; rather it has a circle with the letters PET in it. For some reason, they aren’t using the standard symbols, and so I really don’t know if I can recycle it. Beauty product/consumer product companies are usually pretty responsive, so I sent an email describing the logo on the package, and the logos that I expect to find, and my concern about being able to recycle their product.

Here’s what they sent back

Thank you for visiting Garnier on the Web.

We do not have prepared information to send you in answer to your specific questions.

We want to assure you that we are committed to the protection and respect of the environment. If you are interested in learning about the significant efforts made by our company, we invite you to consult our website at You will find details on our environmental policy under About L’Oreal. The “” website is the corporate site of the L’Oreal group of companies worldwide.

I was honestly expecting some info that I could use. Does anyone know the PET-in-a-circle icon? I don’t want to assume and ruin the batch or whatever happens if you send something non-recyclable through the system (and gee aren’t there a lot of mythologies and confused perceptions around what actually happens to stuff we put in the recycling boxes?).

Ah well.


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