Monday, May 26, 2008



Tiny Town, Rural Area, America - - the place I have called home for 22 years now. Those first years of residency, we took our garbage to the dump! This was a very new concept for a Bay Area Girl gone “Country”!

Years later, our waste management company informed us of a change to mandatory garbage pickup. This was a good idea because the population in our town was rapidly growing as we transitioned from farming community to “bedroom” community of nearby major cities. For 20 years, the townspeople had bagged up their recyclables and hauled them into the next major town, or simply threw them away.

A recycling center appeared, right down the street and then just as suddenly shut down, it’s brief occurrence like a fleeting dream. Schools and organizations would welcome the recycling projects for fundraising opportunity, but soon fizzled with the daunting task of collecting and then hauling messy bags, driving 30-mile round trips to do so.

Then it finally happened… the garbage truck came out on a non-garbage day distributing (no! lets get real here, dropping!) bins to the residents to use for recyclables. The bins were literally thrown from the truck, into the street, no lids and the added paperwork explaining their use flying around in the breezes. Did I mention their size? Big enough for 2 weeks of newspapers or a large garbage bag of random items, but not even close to large enough to contain the list of items to be recycled. Oh! In addition, pick up for the blue bins is *every other week*!

I assumed that this new project must be a royal pain for the waste company until I got the new and revised bill. The customers are obviously being passed the extra costs for this service!

Happy to finally have a new way to get my plastics , glass and aluminum to the recycling centers, I now bag the extras and heap the garbage bags on top of this very tiny bin, hoping someone will get the hint that our “bin” for recycling should be at least as big as our garbage cans! My question is how much energy do I waste rinsing these items to avoid the ants that find my saved recyclables before the 2-week pickup is due? I am holding out hope for a real tall can with a lid to be provided in the near future, or maybe the 3-can system like in the big city…

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