"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Recycle a Swimming Pool

The project:
Cut up our kids' sun-damaged, leaky swimming pool and recycle it.

35 minutes.

Why bother?
The pool was made of #2 recyclable colored plastic. Our curbside recycling program accepts #2, but only if it fits in the bin. My other option was to put it in the back of the van and drive it to the recycling center (where staff doesn't even know about recycling batteries or CFL bulbs, let alone bulky things) or drive it to the dump where I'd pay a tipping fee to leave it in a landfill for decades to come.

Using a combination of vehicle (my Jeep is a great #2 plastic crusher), garden sheers (to cut apart the broken pieces), and brute strength (sometimes you just have to go there), I managed to break, cut, tear and otherwise reduce the pool to pieces small enough to fit in the bin.

Worth it?
Yes. It was kind of fun, actually. I don't get to destroy things very often, and since this was already useless at that point, the destruction was nothing but productive. Plus, the pool's been awaiting a decision for months since becoming useless as a water-play area. Now the side yard is clear, the plastic is on its way to becoming something new, and the neighbors are CERTAIN I'm crazy.

OH, and the youngest daughter who didn't know there was a leak is probably emotionally scarred. I walked into the house where she had been watching out the window as I drove over, cut and tore the pool apart.

"You know it had a leak, right," I asked her.


"OH! Well, it wouldn't hold water anymore. We tried to fix it, remember? Now it's time for a new one."

"OH," she said more brightly. "OK!"

Photo courtesy giveawayboy under Creative Commons license.

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