Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Roll On, Rollout Bins, Roll On

If you live in Princeton borough and have been thinking of buying one of these rollout bins to replace your aging trash can, I'd suggest holding off awhile.
Municipalities near and far have been shifting to rollout bins for collection of trash, recyclables and yardwaste--rollout bins that are supplied by the hauler with uniform design that allows them to be mechanically emptied.
This has been the case in Princeton township for trash pickup, where private haulers contracting with individual homeowners have streamlined their operation by providing rollout bins that are designed to be picked up mechanically by the truck.
A hook on the back or side of the truck does the emptying, saving the workman's back.

Borough residents who have signed up for yardwaste collection have already experienced this approach.
With consolidation, Princeton borough and township will have to decide on one trash collection service for the whole town, and chances are good that the borough's hodgepodge of homeowner-bought containers will be replaced by a more uniform approach.

Not everyone would be happy with the change, but there are advantages to having containers that have covers to protect the contents from wind and rain, and wheels to make rolling them to the curb easier. Hopefully there would be different sizes offered, so residents who generate little waste need not have an oversized rollout bin. The best approach, environmentally, is to provide a large container for recyclables and a smaller container for trash, in order to promote less generation of waste. Municipal officials are putting a variety of service options out to bid, with some flexibility built in to accommodate conditions in both the rural and congested parts of town.

If Princeton finally enters the age of streamlined waste and recyclables collection, there will be a lot of outdated trash and recycling containers to recycle.

Update: I was wrong! After consolidating township and borough, Princeton decided that everyone in the township would have to buy their own container, of any style. So now there's a hodgepodge of containers workers have to empty into the trucks, by hand.


Mary C said...

...but we can use the barrels for other things, like hauling compost from the composting center.

Steve Hiltner said...

Good point. In the case of the yellow and green recycling bins, their usefulness for other things has contributed to the mixed signals people get about recycling, since I've frequently seen them used as trash cans at events.