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Ask Amy: The family needs a recycling czar

Recyclable materials that end up in the correct bin are often contaminated with food waste, which, I read, gulps down sorting and processing machines.

I kindly reminded her of the correct way to handle recyclables, but I usually get an “ordinary” attitude or a dismissive comment about “washing the trash”.

More often than not, I calmly choose their respective containers and put things in the right place, but I feel this encourages her to continue not to worry about it.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things this is a rather minor infraction and part of the problem is my meticulousness, but I wonder if you have any suggestions on how to persuade her to worry more about the proper laundering label?


1; Wearied Waste Warrior

Wearied Waste Warrior: My solution is to suggest that you realize that your wife is not a starter in this sense and stop campaigning and correct her. I then appoint you as your family’s recycling czar (your scepter is in the mail). As such, you will undertake this work with enthusiasm and without complaint. Also, I appoint your two small children as official assistants.

Even very young children can enjoy the work of safely (cleanly) sorting the plastic (no sharp metal edges, please). You should outline a color-coded basket for recyclable materials, teach your kids the basics, explain to them why you are doing it, place clean plastic and paper items on the floor, and ask them to put these things in the appropriate bin (there are some funny YouTube videos illustrating the process). Then they can help you take the bin to the curb and watch the big truck take the discarded items away.

If you do, very soon your children will start watching over your wife, reminding her which bin to use. This might inspire her to get on board.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your wise response to “Frustrated in the Kitchen”, which was so angry that her two stepchildren (both drug addicts) were so often extremely late for her special home cooked meals.

As a mother who has lost a child to addiction, I can tell you that I never stop wishing there was another birthday or festive lunch with my child.

Establishing a “home” for those with addictions is the kindest thing a parent can do.

Yes, they can be overdue and unreliable and maybe won’t stick around for long. But coming home for holiday meals can be a great blessing for troubled souls.

At the end of a meeting, they always say, “Keep coming back …” And that’s what parents should always say to their children.

You could order simpler food to save kitchen work and still feel like home cooked meals. The important part is to open your home and make the family feel welcome.

I would give anything to see my son at my front door. “Frustrated” and her husband can solve cooking problems. Time with family is much more important.

Grieving mother: Thank you so much for your thoughtful and loving response to a heartbreaking problem. I hope your point of view can help other parents and family members.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (drugabuse.gov), drug overdose deaths increased from 38,329 in 2010 to 70,237 in 2017; followed by a significant decrease in 2018 to 67,367 deaths.

Addiction has an incalculable cost on loved ones that statistics can never measure.

The wisdom of “Keep coming back …” works in so many contexts and I thank you for sharing it.

You should consider using a slow cooker or slow cooker. So he doesn’t have to think about planning his meal precisely.

Big fan: Many people offered cooking suggestions for this question, which wasn’t really about cooking, but about the “frustrated” feeling of always struggling with other people’s delays.

However, I agree with you. A Crock-Pot solves everything.

2020 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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