Dependable Erection

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Speaking of starts

We're well into the second week of Durham's new curbside recycling program. That's the one where you put all of your recyclables, unsorted, into one big 90 gallon rollout cart that gets picked up every two weeks.

The idea is that it's more cost effective for the city to do it this way, being able to use the automated trucks for pickup, being able to cover the whole city with fewer people, since it's only picking up half the city every week, and increasing participation and amount of recyclables kept out of the waste stream. The pilot program started in a couple of Durham neighborhoods last year supposedly increased the number of household that were recycling by some 40 or 50%, and the volume of goods picked up by even more than that, over the square 20 gallon blue bins.

That's the theory, anyway.

In my neighborhood, which i think had a pretty high participation rate under the old program, there are still entire blocks waiting for their new rollout carts. I posted a message to the neighborhood listserv asking for people who hadn't gotten carts yet to drop me a line, and my inbox is pretty much filled with them this morning. I'm willing to cut Solid Waste a little slack on this, but i may be in the minority based on what i'm reading. Here's a taste:
This morning I went outside to find a blue recycling cart in front of our house. No other houses received them. I took it back beside our house, dumped in all of my accumulated recycling, and it's now 75% full.

About an hour later, a crew came by and started delivering carts to all the homes on E. Trinity, including giving us a second cart. I saw this and gave it back since I don't need a second one. They didn't seem to have any idea that anybody else was delivering them.

Oh, and another thing I just realized; none of the carts included the promised plastic bag with information about the new recycling program. How are people who are not on a mailing list supposed to know that their recycling day changed from Friday to Wednesday, much less about the additional items that can be recycled, the new bulky item pickup, or the day-after pickup of yard waste and bulky items.

Oh yeah, I hope that you can read English because I have yet to see any information about the garbage/recycling changes available in Spanish.

Can you say clusterfuck? I knew you could....

And altough i'm going to protect my emailer's identity, you should know that this person is actively involved in neighborhood uplifting, and not someone who, like me, just prefers to whine about how things are going.

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  • In my case the nice shiny blue recycle cart was delivered as promised with the plastic bag of instructions and excortations. I dutifully put our recyclables in and hauled the cart out to the curb for pick up. Along comes the truck right on schedule, picks up the cart, empties it, then in sitting back by the curb, hit the curb knocking off one of the cart's shinny new wheels. I imediately phoned into the handy-dandy one call/fix all city line and explained our misfortune. After taking my information the nice lady on the other end of the line asked me to take the cart with broken wheel back to the curb and assured me someone would soon come by to fix or replace it. That was over a week ago and the winged cart still sits by the curb awaiting repair. Meanwhile, the date for our recycle pick-up fast approaches. Somehow the shine has gone off the cart.

    By Blogger Bucky, at 4:54 PM  

  • Bucky, when the wheels fell off our trash cart, it did take more than a week to get a new one... maybe 3 weeks? They had quoted us up to 6 weeks.

    We have our cart. I saw them delivered, and noticed it looked like a contract company doing it. Not that it is an excuse for solid waste not having them all delivered, but if they hired several contract companies to do it (which makes sense, right? their regular folks have to do the waste runs), then I can see how they could get confused with one another.

    Meanwhile, love the new cart & hope you get yours soon! The first week mine was full in about 8 days, but I think it's b/c I put in the old recycling bin to recycle. I've recycled more this week, and it looks about 1/3 full, which is right on target to be full for pickup day.

    OMG people who comment this long of a thing should get their own blog, huh? ;)

    By Blogger Valerie, at 6:26 PM  

  • "none of the carts included the promised plastic bag with information about the new recycling program."

    I guess that would explain all the people in south Durham I saw putting the cart out before the program started and who keep putting the cart out every week instead of every other week.

    By Blogger Tanner Lovelace, at 10:17 AM  

  • Weird thing - i've had absolutely no problems in getting my cart or getting my recycling picked up. I had the booklet with the schedule and everything. There's some bulky items on my block that are supposed to be picked up today, and we'll see how that works when i get home tonight.

    But other blocks in my neighborhood are still waiting for new recycling carts a month after the program started. The service alleys haven't been picked up at all. Another block reported yesterday no recycling picked up.

    Take a drive down Markham Ave. between Mangum and Buchanan. There are 7 sofas waiting to be picked up by the bulky item service that have been there for 3 weeks or more. (I've got photos taken last week. If they're not picked up by 3 pm tomorrow, there will be a blog post of them.) There's a couple more on Duke Street, just north of Markham.

    And i lost count of the number of trash and recycling bins that were left at the curb at about 100. they're supposed to be brought back the same day trash is picked up, but the appearance and safety of some blocks is obviously of less concern to the city of Durham than others.

    and don't get me started on the new tenants at 1715 Avondale. Landlord Samuel Vaughan and property manager Joe Hicks are climbing rapidly up my shitlist this week.

    By Blogger Barry, at 10:32 AM  

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