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The Fallacy of Zero Waste Anything

A poem by Oliva Juarez:

Is seated in the inability for producers to realize the capital inherently devised of post-consumer


Is seated in the over-optimistic dogma, telling “if you are recycling then you are saving the planet.”

Because you’re not,

You’re just prolonging it’s passion.

and I sit, a giant, unwanted fallacy of recycled plastics

Waiting, longing, hoping

To be turned into a hair brush, or a pair of shoes.

But nobody wants me

except the Chinese

to turn into cheap, thinly sliced packaging

To dress your new colander

Which shall strain your lentil based pastas.

Couldn’t I be a colander too?

“Made in the USA!”

What a great creation my life would be

From yogurt cups and milk cartons

through Utah’s own post-consumer transforming facility.

But nobody can hear me

I cannot utter words

Except the joy of being separated

By the brown-skinned hands inside the MRF*

Enployees unseen.

Recources unrecovered.

Oh, Rocky Mountain Recycling

Over this wealth you hover

With nothing to do but harbor and prospect

That empty China-bound barges

Will call for the fruit of my idle petroleum.

*Pronounced, “murf”. An acronym for Material Recovery Facility.


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