Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trash talk.

Let's talk about trash. The stuff stuffed into plastic bags, bulging from garbage cans of every shape and size, lolling on the curb, and spilling out with a few pecks by crows and meandering canines.

It's really embarrassing.

The Knitternall family contributed greatly to curbside pickup when we cleared out closets, cabinets, storage spaces, and drawers during the holiday break. I took three van loads of cast-offs to Goodwill, toted quite a few ancient electronics and cables to the Morgan Falls Recycling Center (thank you, Fulton County!), and still managed to bag an embarrassing amount of trash for the sanitation truck.

All of which made me very nostalgic for Greensboro, North Carolina.

I've mentioned that city's stellar garbage/recycling/yard waste program in the past. Homeowners and single family house renters get two humongous plastic bins (four feet tall, three feet wide, with huge wheels). Once a week, a robo-truck stops by to pick up garbage from the green bin. Every other week, the truck picks up the brown recycling bin. (When we lived there, the truck came every week! But they switched to biweekly for budget reasons.) A robo-arm reaches out, picks up the bin, lifts it up and dumps it into the truck. It plops the bin back on the curb and moves on. This takes just ONE worker - the driver - to operate. As a result of this effortless program, participation by residents is very high.

The recycling center separates all the plastic, cans, paper, etc. and distributes it to various companies who purchase the products for their own manufacturing needs or to other recipients.

I miss the robo truck!

I also miss the truck that came by EVERY WEEK to vacuum up all the leaves we raked to the curb throughout the fall as well as various limbs, branches, garden debris, etc during the rest of the year.

I miss the leaf truck!

Greensboro also regularly swept the streets and curbs to help keep the drainage system clear. (As a result, the city always looks really tidy.) Plus, if we had a large "household item" to toss - aka old carpet, that basement sofa that just has to go, etc. - they picked it up on the regular garbage day WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT.

Sanitation isn't in the budget for our newborn city. But things can change . . . and anything's possible in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, RoboTruck is adorable! Personally, I'd also like curbside kitchen scrap recycling (kitchen scraps account for about 12 percent of all "garbage"). I compost and feed the worms as much as I can, but my goodness, the little guys can only eat so fast and I chop up a LOT of fresh produce.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts - it's great to hear from you!