What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dealing With Curbside Waste and Recycle Collection

When I was growing up in small town Ontario (population 2,000) we had garbage collection weekly.  There was no recycling but at the same time there was a heck of a lot less packaging, bottles and can to deal with.  Still they were either reused in the home or tossed.  Each fall leaves were raked and burned by residents.  The corner grocery store had a burn barrel as did a few other residents.  After several years of renting, we bought our first home in small town Ontario (population 10,000).  Shortly after that the municipality tried to force everyone to have huge garbage bins on wheels to be picked up by a special garbage truck.  That plan was about as popular as a ton of bricks falling on your head.  We went back to using our own garbage pails and garbage bags.  A couple of years after buying our second home the same town introduced recycling.  It was limited at best but seemed to be catching on if you could keep your blue box from walking away.  By the time we bought our third house in the same town, waste and recycling collection was getting a bit more advanced.  Still there were many times we put both out the night before without problems.  Then we bought our fourth and fifth house, semi-rural and rural respectively.

It did not take us long to realize putting garbage out at night was the perfect invitation for all types of wildlife so we got into the habit of putting it out in the morning.  That was fun because they usually picked up our garbage about 6:45 AM.  We decided to move back to our home town shortly after buy our vacation home in Florida so we bought our sixth and likely last house.  We have had to learn a whole new curbside collection system.

Waste is collected weekly here and recyclables every other week.  The collection crew is about the testiest I've ever encountered.  They are unionized so they won't take more than four full sized garbage bags of waste and if there is anything, even one small thing that shouldn't be in the recycle bins (blue for bottles, cans, plastics; black for fiber) then they leave it where it is.  We put out a see through blue recycle bag full of tin can, the very same kind sold in local stores that we've been using for at least the past 10 years, and they left it.  I called the municipality who told us they should have taken it BUT union rules states they do not have to take any recyclables that are not in the appropriate bins.  The weight limit for waste and bins is 40 lb each. 

So, two weeks ago we missed both waste and recycle collection because it was the day after a stat holiday so collection is a day delayed.  We noticed others had their bins out but we had a torrential downpour so I was waiting for it clear before putting out the garbage pail and bins.  The trucks went by in the pouring rain so nothing was collected.  Last Tuesday we were away so nothing was put out.  Tomorrow I have two black bins, two blue bins and two kitchen sized bags of garbage.  So that isn't too bad.  It will be nice when we finally see the bulk of the crushed cardboard boxes gone from our move.  There's a lot right now because I went on a binge emptying packed boxes.

Garden Gnome