Recycling with style

RecyclingI don’t recycle. Not because I don’t want to, but because South Africa is lagging a bit with the technologies. But when things break, I tend to keep parts that look useful. This makes me look like a damn dirty packrat at times, but now and then I’m vindicated by my sheer brilliance.

Yesterday was such a day. My Camelbak, which is a backpack with a tube for drinking, had a really crappy mouthpiece that kept leaking, and when I replaced it I kept the broken one in my box of useful crap, much to the annoyance of my girlfriend.

Then our expensive, shiny dustbin’s lid-lifting pedal broke, because it has a not-so expensive weak plastic angle joint. At this point 90% of people would throw it away or return it after the warranty has expired, but not me. I scrounge around my box of bits until I find the ideal part, an angled hard plastic joint with just the right amount of flex. Some work with wirecutters and pliers and BAM, the bin is working better than when I first bought it, plus I’ve found a place that a badly-designed drinking mouthpiece is brilliantly designed for. Now that is recycling with panache!

Next time something is non-reparable, dismantle it and keep the useful looking parts, because you never know when they will come in useful in another repair project. Over time you will probably be almost as good as me at separating the crap from the jewels. And get yourself a decent toolset, not only does it make you a real man, but it will save you loads of money in the long run.

2007.05.23