When I first arrived at Pacific Gardens, I thought I knew everything there was to know about recycling. I was wrong.
I soon learned from our indefatigable recycling team, Mia and Gloria, that there is an art as well as a science to recycling, about which you never stop learning.
It's not enough that you separate your recyclables, crush your cardboard boxes, wash out your soy and dairy containers, and rinse your refundables.
You have to put the right item in the right box, and figuring that out can sometimes be a puzzle, even for the most dedicated.
For example, last week we had the mystery of the fertilizer bags. Someone had put the bags in the bin for soft plastics, but had not emptied them out.
I was delegated to send out an e-mail to try and discover the culprit. This caused great consternation amongst the garden group, as we don't use chemical fertilizers - ever.
Who could have been using that stuff on our gardens? Well, it turned out that the bags had been full of ordinary garden dirt and mulch, so no worries as to the contents, at least.
Then Roz e-mailed me. She had put them in the garbage first, but then Mia, who hates putting anything in the garbage if there's any chance it can be recycled, rescued them and put them in the recycling.
The mystery was solved. I told Roz I would give her the golden garbage bag award for rightly putting the bags where they belonged!