Monday, April 09, 2012
The Great Recyclables Escape
Somewhere, over the recycling rainbow, there exist large containers with wheels on the bottom and hinged lids on top. If other municipalities can have them, why oh why can't we?
On a more serious note: The alternative approach, seen in other municipalities, and also the more recent method of choice for private trash haulers in the township, is to have large rollout bins that the homeowner rolls to the curb and the worker rolls to the truck. The bin fits on a hook on the back of the truck that mechanically lifts and empties the bin. This saves the worker's back, and the lids help keep the contents safe from rain and wind.
More sophisticated and expensive systems have only one worker per truck, and the truck has an arm that reaches out and plucks the rollout bin from the curb, empties it and places it back on the curb.
If I were to argue for maintaining the status quo, I'd say that new bins would be costly and their construction consumes more resources. I'd wonder if the old bins could be effectively recycled. As heavy recyclables like newspapers and glass bottles become less common, back problems for workers may be easing. The current system may also employ more workers.
All of this would need to be explored, with an open mind. Even if the town wished to make a change, the county has the final decision, and only when the current contract with a hauler expires.
In the meantime, the wind will have its occasional field day, and before the municipality can slap the culprit with 10,000 counts of littering, it will have vanished into thin air.