Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Recycling Police

Every so often my social justice thermometer begins to ring like a fire bell.  Ding, Ding, Ding I can hear it, and I ask where is the focus people?

Today was one of those days.

 I have been in touch with our Town sanitation department incharge of town-wide recycling.  This past summer we switched from the blue 14 gallon bucket to inline recycling and received a large rolling recycling container.  Actually this is quite exciting as we, us taxpayers, will begin to save some serious amounts of money.  It's an easy equation, recycle and pick up is free; regular trash and we have to pay to have it hauled away.  With talking with the town today, our recycling tonnage is up 35% since August.  Back to the matter at hand.

In order to participate in this program, the Town had to supply to each of the residents/taxpayers a trash collection device like this pretty blue one.  Actually they offered three sizes, 95 gallon, 65 gallon, and 35 gallon.  Though this naive one, yours truly, couldn't tell the difference.  My community doesn't use trash containers, we have 12 yard dumpsters.

Fast forward - I receive a device and I assumed it is a 95 gallon one.   It's enormous, I couldn't fill it if my life depended on it.  We are suppose to put it out every other week.   The first collection day came by and I forgot. The second one, I was away, then finally at the third pickup (six weeks later) , the container is still not filled, but I put it out.  I'm now also noticing that I will not be able to get the car in the garage with this device in there.  I've torn apart the place, how to reorganize it, nope, not enough room.

So I called the Town, asked them if I could get a 65 gallon one instead as it is way too large and occupies too much space.  She explains that I have a 65 gallon one - geez louise - I then asked for a 35 gallon one.  The long and short of it, you have to get on a list, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now it is October and the device is not switched out.  So I've been on the phone these last two days.  Nice folks at the sanitation department.  First I find out that I'm not on the list, so I'm put on the list - I'm #126!  There are 125 of my neighbors, actually 15 in my community, that are still waiting for a different size container. 

What comes out of these conversations, is that the 'recycling police' of the Town sanitation department needs to determine if these 125 people ahead of me are worthy of a smaller container?  Of the 12,000 plus households in Town - only 125 opps 126 folks (only 1%) are requesting a smaller size. I think to myself - are you kidding?

 I continued to break down the supervisor's logic and point why in the bigger picture these arguments don't hold trash.  His responses were genuine.  His comments indicate that  there were certain assumptions made by the Town and those assumptions that didn't take into account all type of living arrangements located here.  He began with if the Town gave some one a smaller one, then the Town would have to do it for someone else.  Yeah?  I'm confused, don't we want all to recycle?  I asked him how many more individuals have called in the last several weeks.  He indicated that not many.  (I feel like I'm doing skit from the three stooges)   Therefore, the solution is simple, take care of these few individuals and be done with it.  Mind me, I heard a laundry list of why we can't do things. 

I promised that I would attend the next Town Council meeting and speak out about this matter.  Later this week, I would be meeting with my neighbors and this item will be on the agenda. 

Before we hung up, he finally agreed that he would discussing this next week when his supervisor returns and would call me with their decision.  I thanked him, and with a little laugh, said that I'll be talking with him most likely before he calls me. 

Did we lose some perspective?

No comments: