Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tag hanging

You may remember that in April I wrote about hanging tags on garbage and organics carts in the Linden Hills neighborhood to try to increase participation and thank those who are already participating. Well, I did that again a few weeks ago, this time as part of a pilot program in parts of the Seward/Hiawatha/Longfellow/Phillips neighborhoods. But THIS time, it was December, and the temperature was 7 degrees. We started at 6:30 a.m. I gained a new appreciation for the crews that pick up our trash and organics every day out in the elements starting at the crack of dawn when it's most cold. And I'm sure all our snow this month has made their job a lot more difficult.

Still dark out when we started. We had to start this time of day because we were following the trash and organics trucks, attaching our hangers only after the carts had been emptied.

You can see why they need super-bright lights at this time of day.

Trash carts got an "It's so easy to be green" hanger.

The crews leave a tag if they find non-organics in the cart, or if something else needs tweaking.

Participants got a "You're making a difference" tag.

If the carts are full, Rose and Lloyd hook the carts onto the truck to be tipped, otherwise they just reach into the cart and grab the bag or two in there. (Check out the contrast between how Rose is dressed in this picture with how she was dressed in April)

Tools of the trade: Cart hangers and a stapler, so the hangers don't blow away or fall off. The stapling was a good idea because a lot of the hangers we put on carts in Linden Hills blew away or fell into the garbage trucks.

It's early in the pilot, but this organics load shows encouraging participation.

A tag for excess garbage hung by the city crews, paired with the hanger to join the organics program that I hung.

We saw many garbage carts overflowing with trash. I hope those eligible for the pilot take advantage of the free program because it would make a huge difference. Want to read more about the organics pilots and the city of Minneapolis' efforts? Click here and here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Recycle your rags

Most people know you can donate used clothing and other goods, but what about the pair of jeans torn beyond repair or the threadbare sweatshirt full of holes? There are two companies in the Twin Cities that recycle rags. Wipers Recycling makes them into what they call wiping rags, which they sell in 10- and 25-lb boxes, or granular absorbents. They have drop-off locations in Maplewood and St. Paul Park.

There's also USAgain (Use Again), a national company with a location in Roseville, which processes clothes and rags from almost 1,000 collection bins.

All rags must be clean and dry.