Cleaning Up/Recycling Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,091 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—6,887 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life

For this week’s Cleaning Up/Recycling Merit Badge, I got back to basics. You see, I’ve been a half-hearted recycler, a part-time recycler, and a salvager, but I’ve never really focused, learned, and applied recycling practices in my home.

I know, I know. I hang my head in shame. I’m even wringing my hands, for crying out loud, so you know I’m contrite.

Being a very visionary-type person, one thing that held me back was not having appropriate containers in my house near the trash in order to properly commit to this recycling business. I mean, yes, I have my big ol’ county-owned recycling can outside, and that’s used occasionally for the big things … the flattened boxes from my over-abundant eBay purchases, large milk jugs, and my organic root beer bottles, to name a few. But when it comes to every last scrap of paper, or each and every tissue, or discarded envelope, or soup can, well, I must admit to tossing them willy-nilly in the regular trash under my kitchen sink.

But no more. I am repenting, girls.

First things first: I educated myself on what exactly could be recycled in my area and found out a few things I’d been doing wrong when I did get a wild hair (hare?) and tossed the wrong things in my recycling bin. Turns out I was tossing things like caps to my laundry detergent and ketchup bottles, broken glass, and mirrors (I was distracted at the time by fretting about my seven years’ bad luck), lightbulbs, and those heavier-type plastic containers (you know, like the ones lettuce sometimes come packaged in, or other produce). I feel very knowledgeable now, and also feel like I may owe my recycling man an apology. I’m surprised he hasn’t been leaving me warning notes. I decided to leave a full root beer bottle as penance for my sins.

So, now that I knew what my area could and could not accept, I set up a recycling center in the corner of my kitchen. One calico-lined bin was for glass, one candy apple was red for plastic, and one teal tickled was perfect for paper. Oh, and there’s always my little lidded bucket with my scraps for the chickens. Now, I suppose you could go all matchy-matchy on me and be a little more tied-in with your color schemes and look, but I am more the eclectic gal myself. Hey, my teacups don’t even match their saucers. (Wait, maybe I’m a better recycler than I give myself credit for.)


It’s hard to break a habit, girls, much less a bad habit, but I’m really getting the hang of recycling now. Opening my mail involves a kind of choreography: envelopes here, bills there, magazines here, etc.

It’s nice to do my part, and I’m pretty certain my recycling man is just as relieved as the planet is now that I’ve come around.

Leave a comment 2 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    We are fortunate to live in a community that has been providing road side recycling pick up for many years. It makes such a difference to our planet and making it easy for people is just a good investment of tax dollars!

  2. Karlyne says:

    I live in a community that has NO recycling. I know, it’s hard to believe that I live in the U.S., but it’s true. I compost as much as I can, use very few cans and as little plastic as is practically possible, and use envelopes and paper junk to start our fire pit fires! I wish I were as up-to-the-mark as MBA Jane, but there’s always hope!

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