Monday, May 30, 2016

Norwood Park observes Memorial Day -- Part II

For more pictures of today's Norwood Park Memorial Day Parade, see this post on Page One.

This year, it seemed as if the politicians were interspersed among the various school groups and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. I don't know if that was to minimize inter-school competitiveness or political rivalries....

For example, a car carrying signs for Republican State Rep. Michael McAuliffe and County Commissioner Peter Silvestri was followed by a group of marchers from Garvey School....

A unit for 41st Ward Alderman Anthony Napolitano came next...

...followed by Cub Pack 3926 from Immaculate Conception School...

... and then by a group for 41st Ward Democratic Committeeman Tim Heneghan...

...a group joined by Merry Marwig, challenging Michael McAuliffe's reelection bid in the 20th legislative district.

And there were plenty of other groups participating in today's Norwood Park Parade....

Leading a group for Lutheran Unity School....
The Norwood Park Historical Society participated.

The Taft High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps had a large contingent in today's parade.

I never did find out what these Disney-themed marchers were all about -- but my granddaughter was definitely interested in these marchers.

The Immaculate Conception School Girl Scouts had a sizeable contingent.

This 1930 Model A may have been the oldest vehicle in the pararade.
Cub Scout group from St. Juliana's

Cub Scout group from Norwood Park Lutheran Church

The group from St. Thecla's had a classic car leading their way

Here's the Cub Scout Pack from St. Monica's.

The parade ended today, as it has in past years, with a parade of classic cars.  I have mixed feelings seeing a Mustang that I remember from my youth being included in the parade of antiques....

Not your father's Oldsmobile.  Maybe your grandfather's....

Recycling motto a load of hot garbage

I recycle.

I thought it was particularly stupid of the City of Chicago and Waste Management to ban plastic bags from recycling carts this year -- plastic, you may have heard, is recyclable -- but we can, and do, save our plastic bags separately at our house. The local Jewel still takes them.

But stupid, bureaucratic, short-sighted recycling is better than no recycling at all, right? And I strive to comply. At family parties, the kids may not adequately rinse their beer bottles before putting them in our recycling bin -- so after the party is over I go fish them out and rinse them myself. My daughters often arrive for a visit with a Starbucks container in hand -- some sticky, icky confection that only vaguely resembles coffee -- and I've had to pull inadequately rinsed plastic cups out of the recycling, too, and clean them off. And, you know, my oldest grandkid is not yet four. Sometimes the grandkids will put garbage in the recycling and recycling in the garbage and I'll have to sort it all out later. And I do.

So we set the stage for this past Friday. My wife and I just got rid of the old window coverings on our patio door. After 20 years, five kids, and now four grandkids, the plastic strips did not pull back or rotate any more, except by hand, and many of the plastic strips had actually fallen off, giving the patio door opening a gap-toothed appearance.

Have I made the point yet that these were plastic strips, about seven feet long and maybe two-and-a-half or three inches wide? Made of plastic?

Supposedly, by 2050, according to the World Economic Forum (the link is to a WGN-TV news site), there "will be more plastic than fish in terms of weight in the world’s oceans."

So recycling plastic would be a good thing to do, right?

And, therefore, in with the milk jugs and fruit juice bottles and junk mail this past Friday, yours truly added in those plastic window strips. The ones made of plastic. Lots and lots of plastic.

And the City of Chicago and its designated 'recycling' contractor, Waste Management, refused to pick it up. I got a sticker on my blue bin instead:

The big 'X' on the sticker claims that my recycling was rejected because it contained "[n]on-recyclable items (like garden hoses or propane tanks)."

Now I ask you: Do these look like propane tanks to you?

Could these plastic strips possibly be confused with garden hoses?

But the inability of the Waste Management driver to distinguish these strips from propane tanks is not the thing that made me really upset.

Have you noticed yet?

Look at the pithy slogan on the sticker again: "When in doubt, leave it out."

When in doubt, leave it out?

Seriously? Humanity is choking in its own waste and a recycling company, so called, is urging people to choose landfills whenever there's the slightest question about whether this item or that one meets City standards? What a load of garbage.

According to a recent story on WGN-TV news, "only about 10 to 12 percent of what is picked up [by Waste Management] is meeting the standards for the city’s recycling program. The garbage that doesn’t meet standards goes straight to the landfill."

Maybe some of my fellow citizens are not as fastidious as I am when it comes to separating recyclables from trash and preparing said recyclables for future re-use. OK, maybe. But, after last Friday, I am seriously beginning to wonder whether this recycling contractor is just being far too choosy. Waste Management's contract should be recycled.