Monday, 26 April 2010

Refuse collection

It is amazing how things that seem as trivial as refuse collection have such impact to ones life. No I suppose I was spoiled in Florida, with collection for recyclables once weekly and trash twice weekly. Yard waste was either collected by the lawn mower man, or I usually had a large yard (garden for any English reading this, we will cover that topic soon) with a corner with a large composting pile. In Pennsylvania trash and recyclables were collected once a week. Not the twice a week of trash in Florida, but, in either location, we could put out as many bins of any size shape and color we found necessary to collect our weeks refuse in. During holidays and birthdays, large boxes and bags never went uncollected. Recyclables could also be placed in miscellaneous containers and they would make an educated decision, in which they were usually correct, as to whether the container was refuse or a receptacle which could be reused. In the district in which we live now, we have one trash bin It is collected every other week. If you have extra trash, you have to save it for two more weeks, or drive it to the local "tip". Large items such as mattresses or old furniture and electronics that can not be resold are also to be taken here. Yard waste is also collected every two weeks. The bin is the same size as the refuse bin, but we must share it with our neighbors. We mowed the lawn yesterday and the bin is full, my composter is half full of grass (not the best for a composter) and we had more grass that was piled in an unused corner of the garden. Recyclables in the states did not need separated (unless you were dropping off at a large collection site after a big party!) The collectors would collect all types of recyclables that the county collected. Here, curbside recycling takes a few types of recyclables, but the district recycles much more. You again need to drive these items to different locations, and not all collection sites recycle all materials. I am afraid this is not a sound plan to involve the masses in recycling. As an environmentalist, I appreciate the limited waste collection promotes reduction, reuse, and recycling. However, as the country that suffered great loss from the bubonic plague, does twice monthly refuse collection sound like a good plan? I have been told by my fiancee that the UK is great at handling the middle of the road, not extremes. I guess in addition to weather, refuse collection is another area where they will stand on the middle ground.

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