, Salem, MA


May 20, 2013

Letter: Big Brother is watching your trash

To the editor:

An average Salem couple is enjoying a beautiful summer day, when:

Knock, knock. “I am the recycle police, and I am here to inspect your blue bins, which are not out with your regular trash.”

“Oh my,” said Peter Worrisome. “Why is he here? What have we done wrong?”

His partner, Mary, replied, “I warned you that failure to put out the recyclables in the proper bin would bring down the wrath of the city upon us. You have to put out more than just beer cans, which get stolen by the pickers. We need a cat or dog that eats from canned food so we can put out the cans, instead of these dry food packets. You also need to take a couple things from the neighbor, who puts his recyclables out the night before collection.”

“But I thought that we were doing pretty well with the voluntary program,” Peter replied.

“We were, but now the state has extra money to hire more people to inspect our trash, so they have been able to make this a mandatory program,” Mary replied.

“Hey!” Peter exclaimed, “Why is the person wearing a suit that looks like tin foil?”

“Oh,” Mary replied. “That is his recycled materials uniform. It is supposed to deflect heat and criticism. You had better get the door as I heard they are only going to give us eight warnings. In the meantime, washing out this jar of peanut butter is more difficult than I thought.”

Welcome to the 2013 Orwellian Salem.

Stephen Delaney


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