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Write of Passage

Maureen Connors Badding arrived in Wauwatosa 22 years ago via Buffalo and Phoenix. She's a freelance writer and habitual volunteer who enjoys book clubs, travel, entertaining and cheering for her daughter's swim team.

Hello, Plastics 3-7!

Public Works, Recycling

This may fall under the category of too much information, but I get a small thrill from recycling. I think it's pretty great that some of our garbage doesn't have to end up in a landfill -- and it's positively amazing that old soda bottles can be made into polar fleece jackets.

So imagine my excitement when I read in Wauwatosa Now a couple of weeks back that we can toss plastics #3 through #7 and juice boxes into our new recycling carts. I was used to recycling PETE (#1, such as water bottles) and HDDP (#2, including milk and detergent jugs), but #3 through #7? I was ecstatic!

Truly, this is a big deal in our house. Recycling our #3 shampoo and conditioner bottles alone will probably keep the equivalent of three or four garbage bags out of the landfill over the course of a year. Yogurt and cottage cheese containers will amount to another couple of bags, at least.

Multiply this by 20,000 Tosa households, and we're talking about a pretty serious reduction in landfill real estate.

My second reaction to the news was chagrin that I had missed this information in the city's “2008 Guide for Recycling, Yard Materials & Garbage.” Yes, I saved this four-page gem for future reference, as the subhead implored. On further review, I finally noticed a list of what's recyclable in 9-point type at the top of a very crowded page 2.

Judging from the number of Tosa residents who park their recycling carts away from the curb and less than three feet from their garbage carts, not a lot of people have read the “2008 Guide for Recycling, Yard Materials & Garbage” -- not to mention the tops of their recycling carts.

So thank you, WauwatosaNow, for printing the interview with Bill Tarman-Ramcheck, Public Works program analyst, and helping spread the word about plastics #3-7 and juice boxes.

Now please excuse me while I go recycle pizza boxes from my daughter's birthday party. I'm so excited!

A Bump in the Grinding Story

Grinding

As a mom, I was flooded with numerous emotions when I read last Thursday's WauwatosaNow article about grinding, the sexually explicit form of back-to-front dancing that's popular among high schoolers. 

First, I was surprised that it got a two-page spread, considering that grinding has been “performed” at Tosa high school and middle school dances for several years now. Still, the fact that it was going to be banned at post-prom was a new twist -- and a much-appreciated policy change, if you ask most parents in the district.

Second, I was stunned to see that there were photos and video of local kids grinding at prom - and even more shocked that their names were printed.

That was immediately followed by relief and gratitude that a family member could be glimpsed dancing appropriately in the background of the video.

And finally, I was left wondering about the wisdom of printing photos and names of minors grinding at a private event.

Don't get me wrong; I am not a fan of grinding. In fact, I think it's disgusting, embarrassing and inappropriate for a high school dance.

But couldn't the story be just as informative using stock photos of grinding rather than singling out a couple of local kids?

It's one thing to print a photo of a student at a spelling bee or other public event, but quite another to go to prom and shoot video.

In the end, I just felt creepy about the whole thing.

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