“The life story of a fridge” or “How I learned to stop worrying and love the Household Recycling Centre”…
by Finn Fridge…
When they got me they didn’t even name me. They just kept calling me “the Fridge.” Like I was just some object without any feelings…
“Stick that in the Fridge,” they’d say. Or, “Why’s the jam in the Fridge?!” I mean, how would you like it if everyone just called you “the boy,” or “the girl,” or “the human” you’re whole life…?
They didn’t care that it was me, ME, who looked after all their food, who kept it cool and stopped it going all mouldy and gross. I was just there, squeezed into a tiny corner, to be used when it suited, and ignored when it didn’t.
(I do have a name, by the way. It’s Finn. Hi.)
After they plugged me in, I tried to make a good impression.
I wanted them to notice me, so I could be part of the family… When they opened me up I would turn all my lights on like a big stage show. It was a real spectacle, especially in the dark when someone would slope into the kitchen and open me up for a midnight snack.
But they never even batted an eye. Didn’t they realise how much energy it took to light up like that? Didn’t they appreciate how easy it was to find the sausage or left-over apple crumble or whatever it was they were looking for? And how nice and cold they were?
They didn’t seem to even notice. And they didn’t care that when they shut the door, all my lights went out, and I was left in the dark again. “This family just takes me for granted…” I thought sadly.
I wasn’t all alone, though. There were loads of packages stored on my shelves and in my drawers. (I am a fridge, after all). I whispered to them in the dark about how I was feeling. They agreed. “Yes,” they said, “we all feel taken for granted too!”
Some of the younger packages, like Yasmin Yoghurt and Manny Milk, were optimistic. They hoped, like I did, that the family would come to love us, and let us be part of their lives.
But very soon their contents got used up. Then someone opened my door and took them out they were gone forever. I stopped being so hopeful.
Then Bridget Branston-Pickle-Jar, the oldest and wisest of the packages, tried to comfort me. She told me a story…
Bridget said that in the olden days families used to care more about their packages.
They were made of glass and paper and tin and things like that. People would use them again and again around the kitchen, to store different things. They would be taken out of Frank or Freida (they were the fridges who came before me, she said) only to be put back in, full of something else delicious. It was a happy time, when you could count on your friends sticking around for ages.
But then these other types of packaging, plastic packaging, started showing up.
The plastic packages, they were good guys too. They were excited to be part of the crew, emptying and filling over and over, carrying all different sorts of food. But then, said Bridget sadly, the situation became clear…
The plastic packages weren’t reused.
When they emptied, they never came back. They were put into Old Barry Bin, then taken away forever. “I didn’t know where they went,” she said, “but they must still be somewhere, piled up in some field or some beach. Plastic never decomposes, you know…” Bridget Branston-Pickle-Jar was very wise indeed.
At this point in the story, I got scared and started to cry. “Oh no, it’s terrible… we’re all going to get thrown away somewhere, we’re all going to be just waste, all piled up and useless forever, just getting sick and leaking into the ground!”
“Ah, but wait,” said Bridget Branston-Pickle-Jar, “wait, don’t cry. It seemed terrible, it’s true, when all those plastic packages were being thrown away, every day, more and more… But then we began to hear about something – something called recycling…”
First they had heard mumblings through Frank Fridge’s open door about “recycling,” caught a glimpse of another clean and shiny blue bin that now sat beside Old Barry Bin. Then they started arriving, new packages that wore a little triangular green badge, with arrows going round in a circle. ‘I’m recyclable,’ Katrina Ketchup-Bottle had declared proudly when she arrived.
Then one day Jemima Juice-Bottle arrived and said, “Guess what… I’m recycled! Don’t you remember me? I used to live here, I used to carry orange juice!” Then they recognised her, and they were so amazed, Bridget told me.
‘When I was used-up,’ said Jemima, ‘I was so scared of being thrown away. But then instead of being thrown into Barry Bin’s big bloated tummy, they rinsed me out and put me into Bella, the blue bin. She was nice and clean and full of other plastic bottles like me, and cardboard boxes and tin cans. Eventually, we all got taken together to a big factory and transformed into new things, bottles and boxes and all sorts. Then I was refilled and sent back to the shops and now I’m here again! How wonderful!’
“So then we knew,” said Bridget to me, comforting me, “that this recycling was real, and that empty packages didn’t need to lie wasted in some sad landscape forever. The could be reborn!”
I stopped crying and sniffed.
“But what about fridges?” I asked, “I don’t think I can fit in Bella Bin….”
“Well, dear,” said Bridget Branston-Pickle-Jar, none of us know for sure in here, but I’ve heard rumours about something called a “Recycling Centre.” It’s a place with lots and lots of bins for all sorts of household things, including fridges.”
So that’s how I learned about so many important things – reusing, recycling, recycling centres…
I was relieved, and started to feel a bit happier day to day and life went on.
But as I got older and stopped working as well, I was still worried that my family didn’t know about these “Recycling Centres.”
Sometimes I heard the news through my door when they opened me for milk in the morning. The voices on the radio sounded very worried about the environment. They said that people still throwing too many things into landfill instead of recycling, and that the world was very sick because of it.
So I started trying to talk to my family. I tried to tell them “Please recycle, please reuse! We look after you so please look after us! And we all live in the same world and it’s getting sicker and sicker and it’s our fault, we need to work together!”
But it just came out as a “hummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.” And they ignored me. Again.
Or so I thought…
I heard my family talk about replacing me more and more often.
“That fridge is on the blink…”
“We really should get a new one.”
“Oh, can we get one that makes ice in the door? Oh can we can we can we…”
It was understandable. I wasn’t as good at keeping things cool anymore. Sometimes I turned off all of a sudden, and sometimes I froze. Then food got wasted. I didn’t like that…
I didn’t mind being replaced. I was tired and it was time to move on. But I was still so scared of being thrown away to landfill… I didn’t want to make the world sicker and never be any use again.
Then one day I got hopeful… I saw a Linda Laptop sitting open in the kitchen. She was showing a webpage called “MyNI.” It had a map on it. It said “Find Your Local Household Recycling Centre.”
“Oh gosh!” I thought, “could that be for me?”
The day the new fridge arrived (Faye. She made ice. And filtered water…) was the day I said bye bye to Bridget Branston-Pickle and the rest of the gang. I got lifted into a trailer and driven somewhere not very far away. When we stopped I saw the sign and, I tell you, I was so happy I could laugh:
“Recycling Centre” it said.
And that was that. I didn’t get wasted, and I didn’t make the earth sicker.
And now here I am, still around and I couldn’t feel better! The people at the Recycling Centre took me to get a new lease of life and turned me into something else, something just as useful.
But I’m not telling you what. See if you can guess…
Listen to Finn - Find Your Local Recycling Centre
There’s a place for most of your household items at your local recycling centre.
Use our map to find yours now…