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Monday, June 23, 2008

Long time coming

The bureaus of the Portland city government must have a competition to see who can send out the most high-priced junk to residents to remind them of things four or five times. The other day we got yet another mailer telling us about the groovy new blue recycling cart we're going to get -- along with a $43-a-year jackup in our garbage rates.

Funny thing -- the current timetable is for the cart to arrive "between May and July," which comes as an interesting revelation in mid-to-late June. Does that mean by June 30, or by July 31? One thing the mailer is quite precise about: The garbage bill increase takes effect July 1.

Comments (20)

We haven't seen any blue cans in South Burlingame.

We have them in Gresham. Makes recycling so much easier for us.

As a renter, I never seem to get any of these amusing and repetitive mailings. I guess the city doesn't care if renters recycle. BTW our apartment complex has had one of these blue bins for months but it's only one of three that have been around for years, it's smaller than the other two and it's only for bottles and cans.

As someone who worked in the printing industry for years, I am aware of what the utility companies and the city are paying for the mailings they send out to us (and that we eventually absorb the bill for). Office of Sustainable Development is an ironic title for a place that spews expensive four-color mailers in lieu of b/w fliers that would accomplish the same thing.

Hmmm, also looks like this piece bleeds to all four edges which means that there was an additional trimming charge involved on top of the other expenses involved in producing it.

Interesting....As Troy mentioned above, we've had the blue cans in Gresham for since sometime early this year. I don't remember the City of Gresham making much of a fuss about this, either. I think there was ONE mailer sent to us by the City or our trash hauler; but they didn't try to make a big deal out of it.

I got my blue and green roll arounds last Thursday. There was a flyer included. I got the same flyer in the mail the next day. I threw it in the recycle.

We didn't make any fuss about the new recycling rollcarts in Troutdale. The only fuss I heard was after Waste Management sent out the first bills after the city council-approved rate increase. I was the only no vote. One of my fellow city councilors, who shall remain nameless, expressed shock at the amount of the rate increase. That's what happens when your elected officials don't read the staff reports before they vote in favor of rate increases. . . .

I received my bins last week. With them came a packet that included a large refrigerator magnet too. I threw all that in the garbage. What really sucks is that after all the hoopla they still don't recycle nursery trays or Styrofoam. The evening after they picked up, I found those on the ground next to my bin will little stickers telling me so. I still don’t know where I am going to store those refrigerator sized bins.

I still don’t know where I am going to store those refrigerator sized bins.

If you're like my neighbors, you leave them at the end of your driveway, ready for pickup, 24/7.

We don't need no stinkin' wheels ...

Got my roll-aways about two weeks ago in Creston Park. The first night I put the blue recycling one out on the curb, it had already been rummaged through by someone looking for cans and bottles with a deposit before I left for work the next morning.

Portland Office of Sustainable Development: Giving you 80-gallon containers to dig through for your $0.05. And charging you $43/year to do it.

We got ours last week in Rose City Park. They are so big that I can't fit them on the side of my driveway, right outside the side door like I do with the yellow bins, and expect to still park my car there. I am literally going to have to dig up some plants to have a space for all of these big unsightly plastic bins elsewhere. Really annoying. Also really annoying that we have to keep using the yellow bins for glass. Oh well, I suppose keeping the beer bottles out of the big bins is a good thing... anyway the City can give us big stickers for these bins that says "No refundable deposit items inside"?

Curb Courtesy...

I'll be amused to see how these new mega-bins are stowed.

I'm a Buckman resident and I've noticed that a number of residents never take in their yellow recycling tubs. They're simply left on the curb throughout the week...with things being put in the tubs throughout the week. It makes for a rather shabby look (not the spiffy, clean, we recycle look).

Considering their size, the new mega-bins will probably live on the curbside, as well.

Is there some sort of City Ordinance or Rule about trash cans / bins / yellow tubs that are simply left on the curbside all week long?

Just wondering...from beautiful Buckman (with Yellow Recycling Tub Curb Art),

...ora et labora...

The bins have yet to make an appearance in West Portland Park.

I am going to once a month pickup. With just one person in the house, there simply isn't that much garbage.

We're also in RCP and have them. I'm happy for being able to throw everything into them. Then, did I really *need* another enormous yard waste bin? I don't generate that much yard waste. They block 3/4 of the sidewalk up to my side door.

I but the deposit items in a bag and sat them next to the bin, for the rummagers' convenience. It burns me to pay more for recycling when they want to put deposits on everything I *already* pay to recycle. Oh well, more cigarette money for somebody.

Ask just about anyone in Portland how long you have to bring in your cans and they'll answer: 24 hours.

Find the 24 hour rule in the code, and you might as well wait for George Carlin's next new joke.

Since I couldn't find the rule, I called the people who sent the 4-color postcard.

There is no City rule, ordinance, or nuffin' about bringing in your cans.

You can complain, of course, to the Office of Sustainable This-and-That and they will send your neighbor a postcard asking them to bring in their cans after 24 hours. If they don't, you can keep requesting postcards.

Maybe it's time for Randy Leonard to fire up his ordinance machine ....

The flyers are nothing. They're running ads on radio pretty much constantly. And in the papers. I've often wondered how much they're spending on the ads.

When I lived in Phoenix, one of the capitols of 'unsustainability' the city provided one huge blue bin and one huge black bin (recycling/garbage). Not until I read the comments here have I ever heard people complain about these cans. The higher bills, yes, but the bins? I also might add that I did recycle much more in Phoenix than I do here because it was soooo simple to put two garbage cans in the kitchen, one for recyclables, one for garbage, and chuck them in their respective bins.

I still don’t know where I am going to store those refrigerator sized bins.

That's a big problem with some HOA's, e.g. my niece's place in Florida. The CC&Rs specify the usual 24 hour rule on pickup day; otherwise they have to be kept out of sight - i.e. inside the garage. But the design of the garages is such that there's no room to get past them once your car is in the garage. And you can't use your own smaller container - the refuse truck is a one-person (driver-only) operation that uses an automated lifting apparatus on the vehicle to pick up and tip over these cans automatically.

I'm wondering if that's what this thing is really about here in Portland - the recycling angle is just a diversion to cut the crews to only one person.

I'm in Rose City Park as well have to say the new bins are indeed a rather uncomfortable adjustment, at least in terms of storage and aesthetics. And no doubt they will serve to simplify and standardize collection, with a lot less handwork by the sanitation workers – which, one assumes, means fewer people, fewer injuries and shorter stops. But the covered recycling bins really will be particularly welcome during the rainy months, when post-consumer papers frequently become the damascene bestrewments of the neighborhood streets.

Looks like Rose City reads Jack's Blog! Not only are these things huge, but the openings are pretty high - I'm wondering about middle-aged women like me trying to empty the heavy, spring grass clippings from the catch bag into the green bin.

BTW - I'm drilling holes in the bottom of my yard debris monster tonight - wet grass for two weeks in the can results in a lot of water in the bottom.

And, I think the real purpose of these is to reduce the frequency of pick-ups - which saves the haulers money. The automatic lift also should save worker's comp claims. We aren't really recycling that much more (rigid plastics), and from what I've seen of statistics with these big Hummers, the rate of garbage in the recycling bins climbs significantly.

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