Monday, March 11, 2013

Recycling at Hinds Plaza

It's hard to find recycling containers on downtown streets, but at Hinds Plaza, there is a redundant supply. New ones, on the left, were installed, while the old ones remain.

Last year, when I heard that Princeton Township had arranged for a grant from the county to spend up to $15,000 on new recycling containers for Hinds Plaza, my first question was why not just improve the existing ones and spend the money on installing recycling containers elsewhere downtown. I wrote a post describing a low-cost retrofit similar to what was done in the library's cafe. One point I raised was that installing new containers is not a very "sustainable" approach. There's the carbon footprint of building and delivering the new containers, and the old, still useful containers are instantly turned into solid waste.

Recycling in public places is difficult. One needs well-designed containers, and ongoing cooperation from both the public and custodians. This particular installation seems to be well-intentioned, but whether it actually advances the cause is hard to say.

Update (3/30/13): Have noted since this post that half of the new recycling bins have been transferred to Nassau Street. Progress!

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