Friday, August 26, 2011

Before the pilots, the waste sorts

As many of you already know, the city of Mpls is conducting a single-sort recycling pilot program in the Willard-Hay and East Calhoun (ECCO) neighborhoods. Here are some links to news stories: Star Tribune, MPR, the Southwest Journal and the city's website. Those two programs just started, so we did 2 waste sorts to gather baseline data. If you make recycling simpler, will people recycle more? That is the question.

The first sort two weeks ago was Willard-Hay, and it was the worst one I've ever done (my fourth). The smells were overwhelming, and OH THE MAGGOTS. Holy buckets o' maggots. I took no pictures from that sort (uncharacteristic of me, I know), but you don't need pictures, I'm guessing. This was the first time we did a sort using the NetWork for Better Futures (normally we use county staff and volunteers), and those guys did not relish their assignment. Half of them actually left the site after about half an hour. That was a long day.

Last week was the ECCO sort, and that one was a lot better. We had a great crew from the NetWork who just buckled down and did the job. There were also a lot fewer maggots.

Our supervisor, Paul, is on the left. Thanks for helping out, Paul!

This is kind of an intimidating sight: all the garbage carts waiting to be sorted.

Yes, this is all the garbage carts we got through at the end of the day. Lots, huh?

We finished sorting all the garbage carts that day, but not the recycling carts, so on Thursday Andre, Carolyn and I finished that off. Since we sorted the garbage on Tuesday, then left the recycling carts inside the building until Thursday, there were lots and lots of flies once we opened the doors. Andre, having sorted trash and recycling four times in the past two weeks, is quite sick of waste sorts thankyouverymuch. We'll do another sort halfway through the one-year pilot, and then another after the pilot program is over.

You have to really get in there to reach the stuff at the bottom of the cart.

The trash from about 35 recycling carts. People really want to recycle all their plastics.


  1. Good way to lose weight: no appetite after maggot sort!

  2. Yeah, really! Several of us commented "I'm not hungry at all."

  3. you have a very strong stomach girlfriend. Maggot Sort would be a good thrash band name.