Dear City of Raleigh Sanitation Dept,

I understand your desire to have recyclable materials placed in your aptly hued green bin. It clearly yells, “Hey, don’t just toss me in the back of the truck with that regular trash, I can be turned into another Pepsi bottle for just three times the price of making an entirely new bottle!” And, as a properly conditioned citizen of planet Earth, I always do my part to sort cat food tins from non-recyclable salsa containers.

The problem, sirs, is that I don’t have a green bin. It would seem the prior residents of this address had lost or stolen their bin, or were thoroughly against recycling altogether. Given the nature of their home repairs, anything is possible.

Not having a bin yet, but amassing a large pile of plastic, glass, cardboard and metals, I placed my entire stash of recyclables into a garbage bag and placed it at the curb, lateral to the official city garbage can. Yes, this is exactly where I would put the green bin, if I had one. I even left the top of bag slightly open and angled to the street, simply to be sure you would not mistake it for regular trash.

Imagine my surprise when I returned home from the office to find my trash can empty, but large bag of recyclables just where I left them.

What is your problem?

There is no special lift – I’ve seen you bend over and pick up the green bin, shake its contents into your truck, then place the empty bin back where you found it. Why could you not pick up my plastic bag, shake its contents into your truck, then simply throw away the bag. Hell, you could even throw the bag into my now-empty trash can. I don’t mind!

My neighbor put out his green bin this morning and it was empty when I came home. In fact, I remember he had put his recyclables in a PLASTIC BAG, in his bin. If my bag had been surrounded by a green bin you would have picked it up?

I understand routines; we all have them. But maybe – just maybe – you could have broken from your catatonic routine just long enough to pick up my bag of valuable environmental waste.

So, I am still the proud owner of one large garbage bag of plastic, glass, and metal containers. It’s actually heavier now after sitting through an afternoon of torrential rain.

Thank you-



7 responses to “Dear City of Raleigh Sanitation Dept,

  1. Is it a clear bag? Our Bloomfield recycling people only take recycling in clear bags. Were your neighbor’s recycling not also in a bag, I would have suggested the bag as the major problem (even though you still have a point about the ease of removing it).
    Maybe you could spray paint (releasing chemicals that counteract recycling efforts I’m sure) a cardboard box.

    PS You really need to elaborate on these repairs please. I am beyond curious.

  2. you should fashion that waste into a large mobile to hang in the municipal office

  3. Mini – The repairs? Half assed. At best. They painted the cabinets with latex wall paint. You can peel it off like the skin on pudding.

    FF – Not a bad idea, but I’m terrible with wire hangers.

  4. So I hope you gave the sanitation department a call to get a new bin.

    I mean, really!

    You didn’t expect garbage collectors to think did you? That’s why they collect garbage, they don’t want to think for a living.

    Don’t mess with the natural order of things.

  5. Awww.. pudding skin. What I wouldn’t give for some real chocolate pudding skin. Yum.

    No, seriously, yum.

  6. OK, so I’m only about a handful of years late finding this post – but it’s hilarious. Thank you for that.

    I do have to say, when we bought our house in 2010, our previous residents had somehow disposed of the recycling bin as well. Seeing as how they took ALL of the kitchen drawers with them (easier to take a whole drawer than to empty the contents in a box, right?) and knocked out the entire staircase banister (easier to take a couch down the stairs with no rails, right?), I’m guessing they took it as a moving box.

    Anyhow, for anyone else who might find themselves moving into a house with a missing recycling bin, promptly contact the City of Raleigh services for a new bin. They dropped mine off on the very next recycling day.

    And @razzbuffnik – wow… I so hope you were joking, as that was a really jerk thing to say otherwise. Then again, I guess you were not going for PC, or even socially-kind or open minded. Meh.

    Again, thank you for the post!

  7. By the way, I stumbled upon your post trying to figure out if spray paint cans are considered hazardous waste, or if I can just chuck them. Going to have to call the city to find that one out, too. Cheers!

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