Rural pickup a waste?
Every Wednesday morning a garbage truck and a recycling truck travel down my road and pick up waste at one or two houses.
Living just a couple of kilometres from a waste facility, it makes sense that my neighbours use the dump more than waste pick up. But the numbers from a recent Wellington County report – that only 31 per cent use garbage pick up, and 51% use recycling pick up in rural areas – was a surprise.
At my house, dump day is a ritual. Every week there’s at least one joke about “trash talk,” and even my dog gets excited for the cookie he receives from the workers.
We’ve limited our trash over the years, and do our best to sort out the recycling. It was a system that worked. And clearly, people still choose to take their waste to the dump rather than use the pickup service.
The county should analyze why rural waste pickup is not catching on as quickly as it thought it would.
I guess that the main issue is communication. Having the information on a website is one thing, but providing personalized information is another. Perhaps more reminders about how, when and why to use rural pick up as well as reminders about what can and cannot be recycled would help.
We then come to the issue of cost. If the county had said the idea of rural waste pick up did not catch on as quickly as it initially thought, does that mean that rural waste pick up is not cost effective? This needs to be explored further.
Keep it, don’t waste it
At the last county council meeting a report indicated that residents haven’t taken to rural garbage and recycling roadside pickup as quickly as originally thought.
Yes, it seems to be a waste of gas and very bad for the environment to have a truck travelling down country roads not picking up any waste, and expensive too. But what about that moment when the tide shifts?
Think about all the gas use and environmental pollutants that will be eliminated when people realize the convenience of roadside pickup.
One truck picking up waste is far better for the environment than a county full of individual cars travelling to the dump.
It seems like a no brainer right?
Yet, the number of new users is low, but not non-existent.
Sure, there have been more new users putting out recycling than waste but isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t society always pushing for more recycling everywhere?
Apart from the environmental and convenience factors, county officials may find it rather difficult to justify taking away waste services. If rural roadside pickup wasn’t guaranteed to stay, the county probably should have put a time limit on the trial.
I bet the benefit of roadside pickup will eventually be realized and yellow bags with blue boxes will line the sides of every road in the county on pickup day and the program’s success will be quite obvious.