Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can we recycle the recycling bin?

As of next summer the city of Charlotte is changing the way it collects recyclables. The red bins will give way to large rollout containers (an example is shown above) where you'll dump everything and roll it to the curb every other week. This will, in theory, inspire more people to recycle more things. (Clarification: You'll have a recycle rollout bin as well as a regular garbage rollout bin.)


Even if it doesn't, at least now you can roll it out instead of having to haul a bin loaded with newspapers, magazines, cans, glass, etc.

But what should the city do with the red plastic bins? I was talking today with council member Edwin Peacock III, who chairs the council's environment committee, and he said he'd be interested in hearing suggestions.
He noted his own family's red bin had been used for sledding and for washing a dog, as well as recycling. At our place we have three red bins (we read a lot of newspapers), and two are held together with duct tape, having had close encounters with various vehicles.

I vote for recycling the bins. But are they No. 1 or No. 2 plastic?
If not, maybe there's a public art project awaiting, involving a collage of red plastic shards ...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right now, I put out the recycling bin every week, but the rollout cart for trash only once a month. If going to a shared rollout cart with alternating pick-up, where am I supposed to store the trash on recycling weeks?

Anonymous said...

Or conversely (since it fills up faster) the recycling during trash pick-up weeks?

Anonymous said...

if the democrats enforce a paid subscriber fee to maintain lawful citizen status with their socialized medicine proposal, does that mean there will be an increase in tax code
law to support a substantial deduction for recycling...anything?

Anonymous said...

It won't be a shared rollout bin, you will be receivng a rollout bin specifially for your recycled materials. so you will now have 3 rollout bins ( trash, yardwaste and recycled material)

Jumper said...

Call the recycling place and find out.

tozmervo said...

The bins are #2 plastic, as state on one end of them.

Maybe another municipality is interested in starting their own program and might be interested in buying ours at a bargain price? Remember, reduce and reuse before recycling.

Anonymous said...

We had an obviously broken bin a few years ago (the only thing holding it together was the top rim on one side) and tried putting it into a new recycle bin for several weeks. Each time we came home to find it sitting side by side with the new one. We finally put it in the regular garbage bin. It actually never occured to me to try duct tape...

Anonymous said...

I like the new bins - with lids. Now I won't have to be embarrassed when my whole neighborhood sees my little red bin overflowing with liquor bottles.

Streetsweeper said...

We in Lexington Ky. have been using the three roll out cart system for a number of years and seriously, you only have to put out the cart that needs to be emptied on collection day. For most of us that means that the garbage gets set out about half as often as the recycling one and about double the lawn waste one. Very rarely would one put out all three on the same day, but it does happen.

2whls3spds said...

Sell them to college students and other to use on their bikes, instead of stealing milk crates...

Anonymous said...

Will the new recycling rollout carts be a different color?

Mary Newsom said...

Council member Edwin Peacock said the new recycling rollouts will be either blue or green. The one displayed in the lobby of the gov center (in photo above) is green. I don't know if that means all will be green, or just that sample was. Will update when I find out.

Also, I checked this morning and, indeed, our red bin has a "#2" symbol on it, so technically it's recyclable. Whether the city will recycle them is another question. Again, I'll update when I know more.

JDC said...

Do you mean here's a separate bin now in existence in Charlotte for yard waste? Or there will be? (See the comment from Anonymous who posted at 05:14 pm on 9/30).

If that's the case now, my neighborhood has been left out. We love our towering trees and beautiful shrubs, but at this time of the year, we'd have to roll out a yard waste bin twice a day and receive the same number of daily pickups by the city, just to keep up with fallen leaves. Instead we have to bag the leaves. (Does the city recycle the bags?)

Speaking of leaves, did the city ever offer the service of removing leaves that homeowners raked or blew into the sides of streets, or is that only something that a private service would offer?

JAT said...

So Mary, what is the city going to do with all the specialized sorter trucks it has for the current bin system?

And that is just the biggest question I have about this change.

How many cu. ft. does the new roll out hold vs. each bin?

We routinely put 3 chockful bins out each week. The rollout would have to be able to hold a minimum of 6 bins worth of material for there to be no drop off in our recyclables with the new system. Hope it does.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to get my new bin. This is so exciting.........

Jumper said...

I hope the separation procedure goes as planned. I separate the glass, paper, plastic, into three bins. This is not because I'm a freak, it's because I live on a cul-de-sac and the guys didn't like to drive down here. I figured I'd better make it easy on them or they'd quit driving down here altogether. None of my neighbors has ever commenced recycling.

I wish the city would ticket a few people who disobey the recycling law.

When I started to recycle I was afraid it would be extra effort on my part. I rearranged a few things and it became no harder. In fact, a certain funky smell from mixing all trash together went away. Of course I compost so that may have something to do with it.

Jumper said...

I do smell a boondoggle, however, as it seems JAT does.

I called the privately run recycling facility off N. Graham street not too long ago. Apparently Casella waste systems runs a lot of the separation into plastic, steel, aluminumb, glass, waste streams and submits a blanket bid, making money on aluminum but losing it on glass, etc. The details are unclear and I doubt the public has access to any audit of this company. So any sweetheart deals, or contrarily a very fair and responsible system for choosing bids and evaluating which companies are serious about those bids, are a bit cloudy to the public, I'd say.

To complicate the issue, it seems the company picking up an delivering the recycled waste will be different from the company that actually recycles the waste.

Anonymous said...

JDC - there is a brown rollout bin for yard waste. Are you in Mecklenburg county?

The recycle center said it will be recycling the red bins

thirdly, to Jumper, the separation process (aka single stream or zero sort)works very well. It has been implemented in other cities.
Watch the video
http://www.casella.com/node/45

Anonymous said...

You're supposed to separate or pre-sort recycleables today? All this time, I've been putting all recycleables together in the bin, since there is just one bin. Will future rollouts require pre-sorting?

tozmervo said...

You do not have to presort. Single-stream recycling is pretty common these days. You can visit the recycling facility on Graham (details are on the city website) to see how the system works, they give educational tours all the time.

Anonymous said...
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Jumper said...

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/978604.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/978633.html

The first is on plastic bottles and some other new laws going into effect. Oh boy! The second is on Inland, the company contracted to pick up the recycleables.

Anonymous said...

Mary, you state that you have THREE bins 'because you read a lot of newspapers'. How GREEN is that? Can't you read them ONLINE?

Or is this just Instance # 3,554,242 of you doing one thing while forcing others to do something else?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the new recycle bin will fit inside my house. As I don't wish to have to walk outside every time I empty a tin can, I would like to keep my red bin so I can carry a load out.

Anonymous said...

Another reason not to have narrow, back-of-curb sidewalks (they're continually blocked by more and more trash).