Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Wonky Tourista: Checking out the Recycling Sites

The usual agenda for tourists is to check out the museums and local sites. I get excited about seeing novel recycling options. Israeli cities have curious recycling cages for plastic bottles. They are large, with holes for dropping the empty bottles in the slots. The slogan on the front reads: "In any case you pass by me every day, so why wouldn't you bring a bottle for recycling?" They also feature a side receptacle for plastic bags, which you see on the cage's right. These are well-suited for high population density neighborhoods - Israeli housing is predominantly apartments. It is precisely what we lack around here, where there's no public recycling, just curbside.
I was quite delighted to happen upon these bins on a main drag in Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Street, where the cages had been transformed into works of art. My favorite was covered with a mosaic of small mirrors, chamsas, and various decorative motifs, so eye-catching. It took me awhile to figure out that they were recycling bins. I am guessing the artists used recycled materials to create the new versions. A wonderful win-win way to improve life in the city: decrease litter, recycle bottles, and create public ART!