Friday, September 30, 2005

♲ Rogue Recyclers ♲

I try to be good about recycling, just about every Friday a fairly full bin of plastic, glass, and various metal containers, as well as another bin full of paper. The problem is that our recycling pickup seems to have shifted to Thursday.

A few weeks ago, as Celeste and I were hanging out on the porch waiting for Evelin to come home, the recycling truck came barreling up our hill. This didn't surprise me because the road at the bottom of the hill, I think, is the dividing point between the Thursday pickup and the Friday pickup. Heading up our hill made sense as a way for the truck to get out of the neighborhood even if we weren't on the day's route.

But then the truck stopped and grabbed a recycling bin that'd been set out early. I thought it was odd, but it didn't really register.

Earlier this year, our city stopped its curbside recycling program in favor of the county taking over. When the city did things, the trucks were marked as H--- Public Works vehicles. I'd thought the county ones were similarly identified as government vehicles. The one that picked up the bottles and cans that day was emblazoned with the name of a private company.

That's when I started thinking ... maybe that pickup I saw was some unauthorized rogue recycler, looking for bins that'd been set out early and then snagging the recyclables for their own profit/nefarious purpose. (Sometimes my mind runs sets out on odd tangents like this — is it paranoia or just a weird sense of humor?)

Anyway, the idea of rogue recyclers was kind of funny to me ... at least until last week. We had our recycling out Thursday evening, but Friday evening it was still there, untouched. There had been times before when we didn't get a Friday pickup, and we'd just leave it out and it'd get picked up on Saturday. I just figured something had slowed the collectors down and they had to knock off before the route was done. But no pickup came on Saturday, nor on Sunday or Monday (our recycling was back with the trash bins, but some neighbors kept theirs out).

On Monday, Evelin was talking to a neighbor who said the recyclers had come through earlier on Thursday. Hurm, maybe the Thursday crew wasn't a bunch of rouge rogue recyclers.

Yesterday, we set the recycling out early on Thursday. Sure enough, here came the recyclers, who took it all.

This morning, I tried calling the city to see if our pickup day had changed: They said I needed to check with the county. I was on hold with the county for a while, but I had to hang up when a call came in for me. Digging around the county Department of Environmental Resources website, I couldn't find an answer, so I dropped them an e-mail asking if the pickup day had changed or something ... no answer yet, but for the meantime, I think we'll be setting the bottles out early each week.


T. Carter said...

Hurm, those question marks (or at least what are appearing as question marks on Evelin's computer at home) are supposed to be the recycling triangle symbol thing.

Karen said...

This was a great story! I like your theory about rogue recyclers. And it was even funnier when you accidentally referred to them as "rouge recyclers"

T. Carter said...

And the other funny thing was we had a recycling pickup on Saturday morning ... I don't know if that was because of my e-mail to the county or what, but I bet the family up the street with four kids and a LOT of empty milk jugs in their overflowing bins was happy about that ...

rouge vs. rogue ... I wish I could say it was a red truck or something but it's just just damn spelling thing again ...