Send Letter to Editor
Need a little REcharge? Test Your RE-flex!
The quiz that challenges you to REnew your commitment to a cleaner environment.
First, a brief REview
For more than a decade you've been at it, day in, day out. Crushing cans and bundling newspapers, collecting motor oil and composting leaves. This reduce-reuse-recycling stuff is second nature to you now. It fact, it may be hard for you to recall the time when refuse stubbornly refused to be controlled. When trash multiplied without restraint.
How about reflecting for a moment on all you've learned over the years about the creation and the handling of waste? How about testing your RE-flexes? You might be surprised at how knowledgeable you've become about reducing waste, and reusing and recycling everything from plastic soda bottles to children's clothing. Why, you might even remember things you forgot.
Take the quiz
Test Your RE-Flex is a 50-question, five-part quiz with sections on recycling history, terminology, habits, facts & figures, and methods of action. As you work through the quiz, don't dwell on any one question – remember, this is a test of your recycling reflexes, so you should answer quickly!
Each correct answer is worth one (1) point unless otherwise noted. Some questions may have more than one correct answer.
Ready, set, go!
1. Which Wisconsin communities have had long-running recycling programs?
a. Brown Deer, Fox Lake, Madison
2. When was Wisconsin's Recycling Law (1989 Wisconsin Act 335) signed?
3. Where and when did curbside recycling first begin?
a. Bloomer, Wis., 1934
4a. Who could be considered the "father of American composting" for reintroducing the country to the benefits of compost at the turn of the century?
a. Sir Uriah Heep
4b. Who is the "mother of composting?"
a. Mother Teresa
5. Napoleon's son had a rattle made of...
a. sapphire-encrusted silver
6. What was the first compacting garbage truck called?
a. the "Lambeau"
7. True or False: If the Pilgrims had six-packs, we'd still have the plastic rings from them today.
8. Seven recyclable plastics are referred to by name, abbreviation and number. Give yourself one (1) point for matching the number with the correct name and abbreviation:
No. 1....V – Vinyl
9. What does the acronym MSW stand for?
a. more standard wrapping
10. OK, smarty, what is MSW?
a. everything but the kitchen sink
11. What is vermicomposting?
a. composting with vermin
12. Composting is...
a. a natural process that converts plant materials to humus.
13. Name the three R's of waste management:
a. reduce, reuse, recycle
14. What is leachate?
a. liquid left in the bottom of soup cans and milk bottles
15. A drop-off center is...
a. a place where you drop off recyclables.
16. Which example illustrates the practice of precycling?
a. You can buy milk and bottles water in many different containers. You choose to purchase them in refillable or returnable jugs.
17. Humus is...
a. the long bone in the upper part of the arm.
Score yourself accordingly: three (3) points for "Of course!"; two (2) points for "Sometimes"; one (1) point for "Nah."
18. ...consider what happens to a product or package when you are finished with it?
19. ...repair an item, even if you could get a new one for nearly the same price?
20. ...ask yourself if you REALLY need something before you buy it?
21. ...write product manufacturers about your packaging concerns or packaging improvements?
22. ...look for longer-lasting alternatives to disposable products?
23. ...buy in bulk whenever possible to avoid excess packaging?
24. ...purchase products made from recycled materials?
25. ...use durable mugs or cups at the office instead of disposables, and pack your lunch in a reusable container?
26. ...read labels and use nontoxic products to clean the house?
27. ...use a cloth bag when shopping, or reuse paper and plastic bags?
28. ...compost leaves instead of bagging or burning them?
By the numbers
29. How many recycled plastic milk jugs does it take to make one six-foot park bench?
30. Paper can be recycled...
a. as many times as necessary.
31. An American family of four generates _______ of waste per week.
a. 15 pounds per person
32. How much of that waste could be reduced, reused or recycled?
33. How many recycled soda bottles does it take to make one polyester suit?
a. five for the jacket, three for the pants
34. A typical householder needs _______ to handle recycling chores.
a. two hours every Saturday morning
35. True or False: One out of every six U.S. trucks is a garbage truck.
36. If properly made, the center of a compost heap will reach temperatures of _______ within four to five days.
a. 60-80 degrees F
37. Over a lifetime, an American will throw away ______ times his or her adult weight in garbage.
38. In 1994, what percentage of Wisconsin households participated in some form of recycling?
39. How many Wisconsin households are served by curbside recycling programs?
a. about three-fourths
40. What is the best way to find out about your local recycling program?
a. call city hall, your town chairman, or your county government
41. How can you make car tires last longer?
a. slow down and stay off rough roads
42. Can this magazine be reused after you have read it?
a. Sure. It makes a great fly swatter.
43. When your refrigerator has chilled its last quart of milk, you...
a. contact your local recycling coordinator to find out who can safely recycle the appliance.
44. What do you do when the grass in your small front yard needs to be cut?
a. Call Rent-A-Sheep.
45. Junk mail increasingly clogs your mailbox. What should you do?
a. Write Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735 and ask to have your name removed from as many direct mail listings as possible.
46. When your 12-year-old son has outgrown last year's parka, you:
a. hand it down to your disgruntled but cold 11-year-old son.
47. During the winter holidays, you cut back on waste by...
a. reusing gift boxes, and by wrapping gifts in the Sunday comics or in wrapping paper you've saved from other holidays.
48. You're cleaning out the garage and find a stack of suspicious-looking old cans marked with the skull-and-crossbones. What should you do?
a. Flush the contents down the toilet.
Give yourself 10 additional points if you answer both questions correctly; 5 points if you can answer only one of the two.
In the film Casablanca, several of the characters want to "recycle" the letters of transit.
49. Where did Rick (Humphrey Bogart) hide the letters?
50. Which character or characters eventually "reused" the letters to get out of Morocco?
The moment of truth
So, how did you do? Add up your points to see how quick your RE-flexes are.
86-76 Renaissance Man, Woman or Child! If everyone had RE-flexes like yours, what a wonderful world it would be.
75-60 Good grip on reality. Your RE-flexes are sharp.
59-40 Receptive to new ideas, but reluctant to reverse old habits. C'mon, you know you can do better.
39-21 Please re-fresh your memory...soon. Start by re-read back issues of Wisconsin Natural Resources for recycling information.
20-0 In dire need of resuscitation! Contact your local recycling program for help immediately!
Maureen Mecozzi is associate editor of Wisconsin Natural Resources.