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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 26, 2006 9:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was I think you'll understand. The next post in this blog is At the Copa. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, June 26, 2006

Every Monday night

We recyle religiously. Even if it didn't make economic or ecological sense -- and I have some know-it-all friends who'll tell you it doesn't -- we'd still do it. It feels like the right thing to do.

Here in Portland, we're blessed with the opportunity to recycle to the max. A few hours after the garbage men come and take our weekly canload for a ride to the Arlington dump, another truck comes and takes our recyclables to some other place. Paper, glass, metal, even plastic bottles. We take full advantage.

So seriously do Portlanders take the recycling process that the city puts out an occasional newsletter dedicated to the subject. This publication has expanded over the years, and the one that came this week was a four-page newspaper, with all kinds of color illustrations. Mostly it told us what we already knew -- which makes you wonder why we can't opt for an online version of the thing instead of one more paper item to recycle -- but there were a couple of tidbits in there that caught our eye.

First, garbage rates are going up. No kidding -- you think our man Sanitary Dave beams that stuff up to the east side via Star Trek transporter? More money to the oil companies.

Interesting item no. 2: There's a new protocol for glass. Now, the haulers have always wanted the glass separated from everything else -- it's safer that way, and it prevents broken glass from fouling up the recycling of other materials. But starting this week, they're asking that we please leave the glass out in its own hard container, separate from the yellow bins that the waste managers provide to each house. Waste basket, old paint bucket, it doesn't matter, so long as it's not paper. In typical Portland weather (not what we've got going this week), I'm sure many a brown bag has collapsed after an all-night drenching, and sent empty glass bottles and jars crashing to the pavement. Nasty. The new way, that can't happen.

We comply cheerfully. The only blue note in the whole piece is the fact that the newsette now comes from something called the city "Office of Sustainable Development." If you study local government around here, you get an automatic minor in Kafka and Orwell. The thought that the recycling program is coming from the same bureaucrats who are giving this city away to the condo developers is enough to make me want to stop recycling and send all my trash to the landfill. Office of Sustained Blight is more like it.

Comments (21)

Hmm...we didn't get our four page newsletter (and yep, we're also a Sanitary Dave customer - I'm dying to know how those territories get defined; four blocks over, it's Cloudburst land...)

As a result, you've just performed a valuable service. It's too late for this week, but in the future, we'll provide a separate container for our glass as well (who said blogs were all opinion, no fact?)

The newsletter came in the mail, I think.

The boundaries are interesting. We're the last block for Monday night. A block south of us starts Tuesday night.

Big doings a week or two ago -- Dave's main truck broke down, and they didn't get here until around 5 p.m. Excitement!

It would be great if a Portland garbage hauler did a blog. The guys on the trucks especially. It'd be a gas to read their stories.

Garbage...hmmm...enough about that.

What isn't garbage nor recycled is that THE BEAVERS WON THE NCAA BASEBALL TITLE.

Go Beavers, Nat'l CHAMPS...not chumps anymore.

Back to the ever important Portland green topic of the day, (but not green and yellow!!...just green...too bad dux, but this all about orange and black!)

Lot of brown glass there!!

I've always wondered why Portland makes it so damn hard for its citizens to recycle. Over here in the 'Couve we have three big hard bins, one for newsprint, one for mixed paper, and one for glass/plastic. No paper bag sorting, no having to come up with our own containers to recycle.

In LA-la land, the city provides a big blue bin on wheels. If it looks recyclable, huck it in. Truck picks it up (yes, the truck picks it up), and Lars' "illegals" sort it all out at the recycling center.

In other news, does anyone remember when Portland entered you into a prize drawing if you let them p-e-e-k in your garbage to see whether you're recycling or not?

In other, other news, p-e-e-k is a forbidden word in the comments here.

Troutdale has recently started to offer an optional roller cart for recycling, with the benefit that all recyclables except glass & containers of used motor oil can be placed inside -- cardboard, newspaper, scrap paper, metal cans, plastic bottles. They didn't decide to offer it for convenience, but rather to prevent recyclables from blowing around the neighborhood when the Gorge winds pick up!

Now, my aunt & uncle live in Newport Beach, and down there they put everything into a single container -- recyclable or not -- and the city sorts through it (using manual & mechanical means). By doing so, the city is able to show that they're recovering 95% of all recyclable materials (or something like that) and therefore they qualify for monetary grants (I think from the State) that supposedly covers the incremental cost of the city's sorting activities. Bonus points to everyone that's figured out that it's taxpayer funded in the end...

Portland has some of the highest garbage rates in the West because Metro skims a lot off the top so it can pay its planners to plan more light rail and high-density developments throughout the Portland area. So don't blame Dave for high rates.

Meant to add the following link to my last post...

Very interesting read.

I know it's easy to pile on to faceless agency, but I know a couple of folks at the Office of Sustainable Development, and they do a hell of a job. They work extensively with area businesses to reclaim more paper and other recyclables... they also help many low-middle income families and residents of multi-family units weatherize their homes and install efficiency measures. And, to my knowledge, they aren't involved with the big PDC endeavors... It's not fair to conflate their scopes.

"conflate their scopes." Sounds painful, TK. But seriously, I agree that there are good government employees and programs, some truly innovative, in Portland. You realize it after spending a few weeks almost any place else. But as I often say, there is a good ole boy (and girl) problem here, a group of wheeler dealers that have extrordinary influence with more than one government "player" and so, scopes do get conflated at times. We see the phenomenon of "mission creep" and some mission creeps.

Are they the people whom you must ask permission from before you cut down the tree in your yard? The people who will hound you and tax you if you won't disconnect your downspouts? The people who encourage skinny houses and three- and four-story condo boxes in two-story neighborhoods? The people who make you feel guilty if you drive your car, grow grass on your yard, or use water for anything? And what's the "Development" part? If this is the crew from Portland State Urban Planning, you can have them all.

It sounds as though you take pride in recycling, and the OSD helps many businesses do so as well. Instead of smearing them as some snakeoil salesmen wasting our money or 'taking it out on the little guy', why not look at some of the merits of what they're doing.

From their energy division:
"We're doing our part; we've already cut City government's energy bills by nearly $2 million per year, and we have helped weatherize 20,000 apartments and 2,000 low-income homes in the past ten years."

On commercial recycling:
"The commercial sector produces 77% of the total solid waste and recyclable material generated in the City of Portland. That's enough trash to fill the Rose Garden about once a month. Therefore, the City requires Portland's businesses, multifamily complexes, and most of its construction projects to recycle at least 50% of their waste material."

Or, you can just say it has PSU taint on it and it's automatically discredited. This one of those agencies that actually work with the business community to save them money through efficiency and greening measures. What more could anyone want? Sheesh...

Maybe they just need a new name. Because "City of Portland" + "Development" to me = incomptence and probable corruption.

I think the problem of people here seeing Portland through rose-colored glasses and pretending humane nature doesn't apply is bigger than the perceived problem of people wanting too much accountability. Government can always improve, and talking about it is a way to check the tendency toward corruption, which exists everywhere.

That is human nature. Can't seem to type and edit at the same time.

Cynthia and others-

If the reason you come here and comment, presumably, is to have a dialogue and change minds, you're not going to get very far if you paint local government in simplistic terms. Sure, nuanced opinions don't make for exciting punditry, but that's the way things really are. Every city/county government body in the country (world?) has plenty of critics that decry a 'good ol' boys network' and simply waive off every initiative as 'just another example of...'. Likewise, there are plenty of folks who choose to simply stick their heads in the sand and hope for the best.

The fact is, the left-leaning population here in the area is leery of many crusades against smart growth, green building initiatives, land use laws, etc. Why? Because it has become hard to distinguish the arguments that originate from legitimate sources/citizens and talking points that are repeated/perpetuated by special interests and their mouthpieces. Most people are smart enough to realize that the PDC has done some great things, but they're also smart enough to realize that it shouldn't be immune to criticism.

I'm 30, I live in SE, and I'm mostly liberal, so I'm probably in the demographic that gets the most disdain in these forums. I know or have worked with lots of folks in the energy, efficiency, green building and planning industries. Regardless of age, race or upbringing, they all understand that the only way their efforts work or gain credibility is to demonstrate a positive return. They strive for this not because they're greedy or covet power, it's because they know it is the right thing to do, that their efforts don't have to be dumbed-down political punchlines. I guess you can call them hippies if you want, but I think the prototype is probably in his/her 50's...

I don't think that is what I said, TK. And it isn't what i am doing at all. I actually am a graduate of the PSU planning program myself. I MOVED to Portland because of its national reputation as a leader in land use planning. But now I also am a lawyer and have seen how the "smart growth" agenda can ignore some pretty basic constitutional rights. I have commented on this before ad naseum. Not being able to talk about these is hardly what I would call enlightened or nuanced. When you make presumptions about people who challenge you, you discredit yourself, not others. As for a good ole boy network, there absolutely IS one, and I have experience with it that would curl your hair. Major land rip offs using the courts, well documented. The fact that people like to see themselves as "enlightened" istead of paying attention to actual facts and nuances, is turning Portland into an international joke. I suggest you start reading some Oregon history.

Read Al Gore's other book - "Earth in the Balance", it's really good, and it explains how the environment is getting *$)%&k'd up because we don't attach a monetary value to resources like clean air, clean water and wilderness. Recycling IS the right thing to do. I don't really care what name they attach to the department that runs it.

And, TK, if it is hard for you to distinguish arguments, then I suggest you hone your critical thinking skills. You can't assume that just because someone critizes "smart growth' he or she is a right wing fuddy duddy. Go to law school. It is a lot of fun, and even someone like me who doesn't especially like numbers and finance enjoyed JackBog's basic tax class. Let the special interests make their arguments, the way to correct misleading speech is with more speech. . I actually come to this blog to learn as much as anything else. But I also have something to teach and that is mainly that nothing is "all good" , including "smart growth", nws cliches and buzz phrases to the contrary.

Solution: Move to a close in city like Lake Oswego if you don't like Portland. Seriously. There is no changing Portland, even with all the smart/realistic people who see things as they really are and want to improve things.

In L.O., they encourage recycling and provide nice rolling carts where you can comingle your recycling. They pave your roads, provide more than adequate police and fire services, have great parks, excellent schools, great programs for kids and adults, and carefully encourage development that makes sense and isn't simply someones special interest. And, the people have a say in things! They encourage participation in city affairs, and don't treat the citizens as if we are stupid if we think differently.

Portland is a mess, and will continue to be so as it buries it's head in the "progressive" sand. Save yourself!


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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