Tuesday, October 01, 2013

So, a letter came in the mail a couple weeks back.  In all the hoopla of the wedding, I didn't read it.  How long do you think I can use the wedding as an excuse for blowing-shit off?  I'm thinking maybe 6 months.  Anyway, I did notice that it was very nicely printed up with colors and pretty fonts.  It didn't look menacing or threatening, there was no euro amount to be paid, it didn't come as a registered letter, and, well, it was in Italian...wedding or no, it was a prime candidate for the bin.  And that's where it ended up.  On its way to the trash, I happened to see the word RIFUTI in big letters repeated a lot.  Ironic, that.  The letter was about trash and I was putting it in the trash.

In retrospect, I probably should have read it, wedding or no wedding.

Perhaps you've wondered what happens to the trash that is generated at Casa Cornwell, perhaps not.  But, since it's pertains to the story, I'll tell you.  We bag it up and drive it out.  Like every other italian, we take it to big dumpsters that line the streets everywhere.  If I am feeling particularly righteous when taking out the trash, or we've had a greater than normal fondness for beverages that come in glass bottles the night before, I get that glass in the blue dumpster and put the rest in the green one (there is also a white one for paper, and a yellow one for plastic...embarrassingly, I didn't use those two so much).  That's how it works, for another two days. 

On October 3rd, so I've learned from friends in the past couple of days but should have learned from a letter explaining it to me several weeks ago, those dumpsters will be gone.  Italy (or Taggia or Liguria, I'm not sure) has decided to require recycling.  Great.  Fantastic.  It's just what lazy trash-throwers like me need.

Only problem is, Italians came up with their system for required recycling.  Italians do a lot of things well, really, a lot of things, but systems and organization...not so much.  I really think the Minister of the Environment should have consulted some of his neighbors to the North on this one. 

From what I've been able to understand so far, every household was delivered three plastic bins. yes, someone came knocking on doors with bins in hand.  I guess it's like trick-or-treaters, Maberga was forgotten, we got no bins.  These bins are used to differentiate the rubbish. That's not bad, it's a good idea actually..fairly straight forward.  But then it all goes a little Italian.  These bins need to be put outside the door, different bins on different days, or different bins for different people for different days or they need to be delivered to specific drop spots on certain days during certain hours...different people have told me different ways that it will work.  In addition to the bins, every household was given a year's supply of trash bags to use for the differentiated trash, printed on the sacks was "plactica" "carta", etc.  No one knows yet (or couldn't tell me) what the fine will be for mis-trashing but we'll soon find out.  Ya wanna know how? Everyone was also given a year's supply of stickers with bar codes on them. Yep, each household has their own bar code.  The stickers go on the trash sacks and if the garbage men find plastic in the glass bag, they scan the bar code and your tickets is in the mail, baby.

This system is so ripe for failure it makes the German in me want to cry.

My prediction is that within 6 months every town will begin to look Naples-esc as people start dumping their state provided trash sacks on the side of the road, without the bar codes, of course.  Why couldn't they have just done some commercials with a crying Roman?


  1. Anonymous7:23 PM

    Dear Lynn, Your post is hilarious, as always. The narrative could be a great basis for a sit-com. I especially love the bit where you put on your bar code so that you can be fined if you get confused about which bi to put stuff in. Too funny.
    At least the overall intent is good. Love you, Brenda.

  2. Good read, you always tell your stories with style. I think maybe the Italians have made this all far too complicated and the cost of setting it up alone eats into the good that recycling creates. The person who 'worked' all this out I suspect is a manic organiser!