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View Full Version : What REALLY happens in your community with recycling?



iris lily
2-20-11, 7:52pm
FOr years DH and I've paid for a private service to come and pick up our recylables. This service was incredibly cheap.

So now our municipality has decided on mandatory recycling and in addition, they are billing us for garbage pick up.

Now I do not mind the addtional fee (I LOVE our garbage service for many reasons) but I am annoyed, no I am FURIOUS, that my neighborss are not honoring the new rules and recycling bins and they continue to put their plastic and cardboard trash into the regular dumpster.
Those "regular" dumpsters are being emptied only 1x weekly (down from 2x weekly and they are overflowing.

And this is a yuppified neighborhood where you would think residents would give a damn about crunch crap like recycling, but no! They are slobs!

As it is they cannot keep straight lawn waste vs regular waste.

I am so annoyed with my neighbors. I cannot even think how this program is going over in the ghetto neighborhoods where people can barely get trash into a dumpster any dumpster let alone the CORRECT dumpster.

Oh and PLUS the city's policy now put the private recycler out of business. Screw that. I am discouraged. This sucks. I am almost ready for entirely private garbage service.

Miss Cellane
2-20-11, 8:34pm
My town has had mandatory recycling for years. Only last year did they vote in a penalty if you don't recycle and it's a whopping $25 fine.

If there is no consequence for not recycling, many people will not be bother to do it. If no one goes around and enforces the new regulations, many people won't be bothered to observe them.

One problem with recycling in my town is that they only pick it up every other week. Trash pickup is weekly, and I think people just want to be rid of stuff, so they throw it all out instead of storing the recyclables for up to two weeks. On the plus side, you can recycle just about anything that can be recycled. I'd say about half the house on my street have recycling out for pickup. The town does what it can--multiple mailings during the year, free recycle bins. 6 days a year for free hazardous waste drop off.

Last place I lived actually had Recycling Police. Okay, it was one person and her title was Town Recycling Monitor. If the trash guys spotted obvious recyclable material in your trash, they'd pull it out and leave it on your lawn with a big red ticket ($25) on it. Then you'd get a visit from the Recycling Monitor, who would sit down with a adult from the household and go over recycling guidelines, etc. She'd give you an extra recycling bin and comic book style materials for your kids to read. But one guy I know who got the ticket and the visit just started hiding the recycling better amongst the trash--which is just weird, because it was more work that recycling. The Recycling Monitor came and checked out my office. We got good marks, just had to set up a place for random office cardboard, like the backing of writing pads, to be stashed. I never got why people didn't recycle--every community had to have curbside trash and recycling pickup in that state. All you really had to do was separate stuff when you threw it out, some into the trash can, some into the blue bin.

Gina
2-20-11, 11:19pm
We have great recycling here and it's free. We can ask for as many free cans as we wish. That encourages recycling because other cans cost for pick-up. They only pick up every other week however. No big deal. And we don't have to sort anything. Along my street on pick-up day there are always lots of recy cans full and out along the curb so I am assuming people are complying.

We have no recy police, and they say 'If in doubt, toss it in - let our expert sorters deal with it.' They take all metal, all plastic except bags and styrofoam, and all paper, cardboard and glass. They don't take waxed boxes, whatever those are.

But hey, this is California and there are a lot of tree-huggers out here. ;)

Bootsie
2-21-11, 12:09am
When I worked in an office, we had a paper recylcing program. The building made a big deal about educating everyone on separating their garbage, but the super told me they dump all the paper in with the regular trash in the basement where nobody sees it. The program was a sham, according to him. That was a long time ago (12 years ago) and it's an unreliable source, and although I continue to separate all my plastic, metals, glass, and paper at home, I do wonder if it all gets mixed together and thrown in the dump behind the public's back. I've heard we can't use everything that is eligible for recylcing, but people like the idea so cities go along with it. I hope this is wrong and my cynicism is misplaced. I do know my apartment building was fined for having recyclables mixed in with trash, but who knows if that means anything when it comes to where the stuff actually ends up.

JaneV2.0
3-13-11, 7:28pm
My town has had mandatory recycling for years. Only last year did they vote in a penalty if you don't recycle and it's a whopping $25 fine.

If there is no consequence for not recycling, many people will not be bother to do it. If no one goes around and enforces the new regulations, many people won't be bothered to observe them.

One problem with recycling in my town is that they only pick it up every other week. Trash pickup is weekly, and I think people just want to be rid of stuff, so they throw it all out instead of storing the recyclables for up to two weeks. On the plus side, you can recycle just about anything that can be recycled. I'd say about half the house on my street have recycling out for pickup. The town does what it can--multiple mailings during the year, free recycle bins. 6 days a year for free hazardous waste drop off.

Last place I lived actually had Recycling Police. Okay, it was one person and her title was Town Recycling Monitor. If the trash guys spotted obvious recyclable material in your trash, they'd pull it out and leave it on your lawn with a big red ticket ($25) on it. Then you'd get a visit from the Recycling Monitor, who would sit down with a adult from the household and go over recycling guidelines, etc. She'd give you an extra recycling bin and comic book style materials for your kids to read. But one guy I know who got the ticket and the visit just started hiding the recycling better amongst the trash--which is just weird, because it was more work that recycling. The Recycling Monitor came and checked out my office. We got good marks, just had to set up a place for random office cardboard, like the backing of writing pads, to be stashed. I never got why people didn't recycle--every community had to have curbside trash and recycling pickup in that state. All you really had to do was separate stuff when you threw it out, some into the trash can, some into the blue bin.

As our Libertarian friends might say "At the point of a gun." I've been faithfully recycling for decades, since the times when you had to separate everything, pack it in the car, and lug it to some faraway recycling depot. I've cleaned, flattened, folded, sorted, waited in line at community events that took hazardous waste, scrap metal and wood...Now we have compost pickup with yard waste, which adds another layer of sorting and storing to the mix. Since recycling via waste pickup has come on the scene, I've paid for the privilege of sorting recyclables to donate for someone to sell and profit from. And all along, I've been happy to do my part for the environment, even though "doing the right thing" adds up to a lot of time and effort spent on the environment's behalf. But I absolutely draw the line at punitive measures and people picking through my trash looking for coffee grounds or a pull-top lid to fine me for. Makes me feel like dumping a truckload of recyclables in the front yard of whatever officious twit came up with such an idea. As long as people are putting out recyclables on a regular basis--which most people around here do--I call it good.

Gina
3-13-11, 7:36pm
Then you'd get a visit from the Recycling Monitor, who would sit down with a adult from the household and go over recycling guidelines, etc.

I too have recycled since before the dawn of civilization... er... before it became politically correct if not mandatory. I do it because I WANT to do it. I figure it's something small I can do. And thank goodness we do not have such a strict policy. They say 'if in doubt, toss it in, let our professional sorters deal with it' or something like that.

If I made a mistake or two, and someone came to 'go over recycling guidelines' with me, in the end I might end up in jail for doing something rash. You have to get people to want to recycle, not treat them like children.

Rogar
3-14-11, 9:04am
I pay for trash pickup with private firms. We can pay extra for curbside recycling and it isn't maditory. I take my recyclables to a free collection site, which is a single stream bin to be sorted later, instead of paying for curbside recycling. We have nothing in place for compost pickup.

I wish our local governments would try harder to improve things. I am jealous of some of your options, insptie of their difficulties.

iris lily
3-14-11, 9:30am
I also hate agonizing about what to put in. For the nth time I asked DH "does #4 go in to recycle? Or is it #6 that is excluded?" I will finally remember, at some point, that it is #6 that is excluded.

I guarantee that a huge percentage of the residents in this city will not bother, consequences or not. I was so HUGELY annoyed to find, before we started this last round of recycling, many cardboard boxes in the "green" dumpsters, boxes with a woman's name and her company's name and address on it. I wanted to go knock on the young lady's door and tell her "please read and follow dumpster sorting rules." She has an office for one of the online universities, can't remember which on "Univ of Phoenix?) and as such , a representative of higher education, she should be able to read the words on the dumpster.

puglogic
3-14-11, 2:31pm
The only solution for many of our private companies locally was to make recycling free and charge incrementally higher fees for the pickup of garbage over and above a small can. And communicate that in no-nonsense, fifth-grade reading level information sheets. This is what you pay if you use the recycling. This is what you pay if you don't. Knock yourself out. People only take the time to think it through if they're being impacted in some negative way.

Easier to do with private pickup than public. Again, one of those things where governments don't have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing in the face of public stupidity. I loved the Colbert segment on South Carolina getting all up in arms (literally) about having to use more efficient lightbulbs: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/376729/march-08-2011/light-bulb-ban---dale-bryk

JaneV2.0
3-14-11, 5:33pm
I'd pay a surcharge for the "Recycle Plus" plan where they just thank me for all the cleaning, sorting, piling, etc. and then keep the hell out of my garbage bag. The people in my neighborhood--as far as I can tell--aren't stupid, and most of them make regular use of their recycling bins. That seems like enough to me, but then again, I'm pro-choice on the matter.

ApatheticNoMore
3-15-11, 12:01am
Odd that significantly more trash is recycled than thrown away here and without all those punishments. I was shocked the figures were so high really. I didn't know people were actually doing so well. Way more trash is recycled than thrown away? Yes, and that's not more recyclable trash, that's comparing recyclables to trash period (some of which is not recyclable obviously). If they want yet more recycling I suggest they make it easier (have pick ups of recycling at apartments so I don't have to drive my recycling to a center would be nice). Lacking that, if they decide to fee people, they can just put their trash in apartment bins if they like :D. Afterall they don't provide recycling to apartments, so they probably won't get after them for not recycling, I mean a fine for not driving your trash to a recycle center gets to a bit silly even for money hungry cities .... Besides how do you decide who is guilty in an apartment bin? Find the landlord maybe.

JaneV2.0
3-15-11, 1:17am
Apparently nothing is sacred to the American people any more--Porno scans? Bring 'em on! Garbage inspection? Be my guest! Strip search? Let me help you with that...:+1: