We Must Sort

Traduire - eng|fr



Lucas would got angry every time his mom asked him to do something at home. For example: to close the window, feed the cat, or call grandma to know how she is doing. This Wednesday, he got angry because he had to clear the table after lunch besides looking forward to the arrival of his friend Tom.

He wanted to be quick; therefore, he took a big black bag and started the job. He put all that was left on the table: apple cores, slices of bread, an empty plastic water bottle, and yoghurt pots. Then he went into the kitchen and grabbed the empty vegetable trays. He saw a newspaper, and without any hesitation, he put it in the bottom of the bag. After that, he took off like a rocket into the garden shouting: “Mom, I will go around the corner to put the trash bag in the container, and then I’ll come back. If Tom came, tell him to wait, please.”

Mom, who glanced to see what he was doing, shouted:

– Oh no! Lucas, how many times did I tell you to take the yellow, blue and green bags that I put under the sink!

– But I don’t need three bags! One was slightly enough for me.

– When it’s my turn, I will choose the blue one. I like this color. You’ll help me, dad, huh? Said Lise, his little sister.

– We have three colors to sort waste by putting each in the bag that is intended for it, said dad with a broad smile.

– What a waste of time! Tom is about to arrive, Lucas balked.

– Sorting saves time for us and for those who take care of our garbage. Also, it’s a good citizen’s gesture, replied mom.

– I always don’t understand why should we sort? Lise asked.

– Because each type of waste has a destination, explained Mom.

– Where are they going then? Lucas worried angrily.

Mom emptied the bag that Lucas wanted to put directly in the garbage container, and said:

–  Look ! There are five types of waste:

   • The biodegradables, that’s what you have there, Lucas: apple cores, vegetable peelings, and an out-of-date salad, etc.

   • Recyclables. It is the newspaper, the cardboard, and the bottle of milk…

    • The ultimate garbage. It is the waste that we can’t process for the moment; it is for this reason that they are carefully disposed of in sites with cards of identification to be able to find them in case of need. In a few years, scientists will find a solution, and all of it will be treated efficiently.

    • Hazardous trash, for the environment and our health, such as batteries, paint residues, hairdressing products, special industrial leftover, electronic and electrical equipment waste, and son on.

    • Inert waste, which produces no physical, chemical, or biological reaction, such as bricks.

– And what’s going to happen to each kind of waste? Lise asked.

– Biodegradables, we make compost out of it. Besides, you don’t have to put it in the trash, Lucas. Instead, you should always put it in the tray, at the bottom of the garden. The clear and transparent bottles will become bottles again, the tinted ones will become polar sweaters. The opaque ones will become watering cans, or collection bins. The food bricks will become paper towels and gift wrap. The aluminum trays will become scooters or bicycles. Steel boxes will become tools, cars, or trolleys. Glass bottles and jars will become glass bottles and jars. Newspapers, magazines and journals will become newspapers, magazines, and journals. Cartons will become cartons.

– I know something. Mom puts the newspapers and cartons in the blue container and the glass bottles in the green container. The plastic bottles, steel boxes, aluminum trays, and opaque ones in the yellow container, said Lise.

– And why all this fuss? It’s better to burn all of it at once, and get rid of it permanently, said Lucas

– Actually, Lucas, there is waste that we burn to produce energy, that’s why we have to sort. It makes it easier for people struggling to keep our city clean, said dad.

– But why are these batteries there? No, Lucas, empty batteries and drugs are to be disposed of in relay points, and we screw the caps back on its bottles, Mum added.

– What a tiring job! Everything is carefully studied for the blossoming of our city, announced Lise a little surprise.

– And we still have to work hard if we really care about the survival of the planet.

But Tom came through the back door, and was surprised to see Lucas leaning over and sorting the garbage, so he exclaimed :

– Do you play with the garbage?

– No, I’m a good citizen. I want to respect the rules of sorting.

– In this case, I will participate. I always knew that there are three types of containers: yellow, green and blue, and a dump in each city to allow families to get rid of what they don’t need anymore, for instance, a used sofa, a microwave that doesn’t work anymore, and a broken chair, etc.

– Kids, instead of spending too much time watching TV, let’s make garbage cans, color them, and put a sample of each waste in them. Do you agree? Suggested mom.

– Great! We divide work tasks: Tom will make a small yellow container; I take care of the green. Lise takes care of the blue since she likes this color. Mom, you help us, and dad will go around the house collecting an example of each kind of waste, Lucas asked enthusiastically.

Since that Wednesday afternoon, Lucas stopped sulking when it was his turn to clear the table. On the contrary, he found it interesting and responsible to care about the cleanliness of his city. Cleanliness that starts from home.


  • Author: Rmili Fatiha
  • Illustration: Hamza
  • Translation: Asmaa 
  • Release Date: 19/03/2017
  • Theme: The environonment/ Garbage Sorting
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