The Captain and I have been faithful recyclers since moving here, but it hasn’t always been easy. Tossing garbage into the bins up here in San Maurizio (seen above) was a game – how fast could we do a drive-by throw? – but for recycling glass, plastic, paper and tin we had to take our big plastic bag of recyclables on the scooter, clanking and rattling all the way down into Rapallo proper to find the appropriate bins. The last, tin, proved especially difficult as we knew of only one receptacle, on a bridge out near the autostrada entrance. Oddly enough, the hole for receiving stuff was large enough to accept a tomato-sauce tin, but not large enough to accept a cat-food tin. Go figure.
(By the way, the papers glued all over the front of the old bins gave very specific hours when it was permissible to throw away your garbage; basically it was allowed in evening, exact hours dependent upon whether it was summer or winter. The theory must have been there would be fewer unpleasant aromas if the garbage wasn’t left to cook in the heat of the day. Needless to say no one paid the least attention to these regulations.)
Well, better days are here! Take a look at these beauties:
Reading from left to right there are bins for Glass; Paper; Plastic AND Metal; and unsorted garbage, for the stubborn old hold-outs who don’t want to recycle. It’s also for really dirty stuff that isn’t appropriate for recycling, like paper drenched in olive oil (focaccia, anyone?) or the things you just don’t know what to do with, like the mysterious balls of horrible stuff that come out of a vacuum cleaner, or old globs of dried glue. The little brown bin at the end is for vegetable matter. Up here we would need a bin about 100 times the size of this to accept all the cuttings, prunings and clearings that regularly occur in local gardens. But it’s a nice gesture and, I suppose, a subtle hint to people to stop burning: too small a container and way to subtle a hint, I’m afraid.
These are our very own San Maurizio di Monti recycling bins, which means the Captain and I no longer have to go down the hill sounding like the tinker of yore when we have cans and bottles to recycle. What a huge improvement in our lives! Not everyone’s life improved as much though. The reason is that though they replaced most of the old bins, they did not replace ALL of them, so some people who used to have conveniently placed bins now have to walk quite a distance to get rid of their rubbish. Do they like it? Not at all! Will they stand for it? Evidently not. How do we know?
If they take away your old bin and don’t give you a new one, just put your garbage out on the street – that’ll show ’em. There’s a certain elegant logic to this approach, but it certainly doesn’t add much to the appeal of Via Betti. We’re watching with interest to see who wins this stand-off, garbage-strewing residents or The Town.