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Re: [greenyes] Zealots
Checking "zealot" on found 17 entries:  addict, agitator, 
believer, bigot, die-hard, disciple, enthusiast, fan, fanatic, fiend, 
follower, freak, maniac, nut, partisan, sectarian, and visionary.  I'm 
sure you could find something in this list that would capture your 
feelings about the subject of your posting.  No doubt, the man himself 
would choose a different term.

It is challenging to educate the public on the difference between "what is 
recyclable" and "what is recycled in your program."  I often respond to 
such inquiries, and am careful to say things like "you can recycle 
name-your-favorite-material in Long Beach's curbside program" or "that 
material is technically recyclable, but we don't accept in our curbside 
program" or "if you can find someplace to recycle that, please let me 
know."  So you don't want to disabuse your recycling maniac/visionary to 
the notion that a couch is recyclable, you just want to teach him not to 
put it into your bin.

How about inviting this person to see your sorting line in action?  Maybe 
if he understood what really happens to the stuff he puts in the bins, 
he'd be more cooperative.  He might also realize that the warm glow he 
gets from having "recycled" all his discards is an illusion.  If more 
people understood the difference between "recyclable" and "feasible to 
recycle in this area," we'd have a greater base of support for expanded 
recycling infrastructure, and maybe more people would pay attention to 
more than just the chasing arrows on their yogurt cups.

Sharon Gates
Recycling Specialist
City of Long Beach, California

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