My apartment has a designated dumpster out in the front. The realtors told my roommate and me that we can put our recycling in that dumpster and they’ll sort it out when they retrieve it, but my roommate has never trusted that and always left our recycling next to our neighboring houses’ recycling bins. It became my job to throw out the recycling every Tuesday morning, but I always felt so sketchy sneaking up on our neighbors’ recycling bins, leaving our bags, and speed-walking away like nothing happened (this is because we never asked for their permission).
But this morning, I heard the recycling truck drive into our cul-de-sac so I ran down the stairs and to the truck with two trashbags full of paper and plastic. When I ran to hand over my bags to the worker, he smiled really broadly and looked at me like he was impressed by my efforts.
Maybe he was laughing at my messy hair or my outfit, but I would like to think that he felt proud discovering other people who care about the environment too. I hope this encounter helped to make his day, because it sure made mine.