Recycling? But it’s so hard

It’s 2014 — well past the time when the homo sapiens should be able to master the not-really-that-hard concept of recycling.

But the news out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, today certainly leads one to conclude that we’re really not that smart a species.

The South Dakota State Fair, a five-day affair that ended on Monday, gave up on recycling this year because people who were at least smart enough to figure out how to get to the fairgrounds, couldn’t handle differentiating between a trash barrel and the recycling barrel that was right next to it, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. They just tossed trash into the recycling bin, so officials threw everything out.

So, rather than tackle the challenge of explaining the difference, the fair officials simply got rid of recycling altogether.

We’ve had them in the past, but what happens with these containers is that people put other garbage in there and contaminate them,” Fairgrounds Manager Jerome Hertel said. “It became very cost-prohibitive to have our people going through to sort it out and clean it off.”

While other Midwestern state fairs and other fairs within South Dakota offer the option of tossing plastic bottles and cans in separate bins, fairgoers in Huron were left to throw most of their recyclable materials in the trash atop corn dog sticks and unfinished funnel cakes.

Fair officials said they might try again next year in the hope that by then, people will be more “enlightened.”