Recycle bin jealousy

I’m jealous of my parent’s recycling tote.  When the town of Amherst, in Erie County, switched their waste management vendor last year they got a brand new recycling tote.  While they opted for the smallest tote, it still has a 35 gallon capacity as well as a lid.  It basically looks like a slightly smaller version of their regular garbage tote.  My small recycling totes are always overflowing.

Amherst Recycling Totes

Amherst Recycling Totes

When Amherst switched to the new vendor they also switched to single stream recycling which means my parents can put all their recyclables into the tote without having to sort them into separate bins.  In the Rochester area most people have two recycling bins: one for paper products and the other for items like glass bottles and jars, tin cans and plastic containers.  This is because the Monroe County Recycling Center is a dual-stream facility that requires the materials to be pre-sorted.

According to this article on the 13 WHAM website, Waste Management will be converting the Monroe County Center over to a single stream recycling facility in the next couple of years.  While it will take a while, I’ll be waiting with bated breath hoping to get a new recycling bin that will actually hold everything I intend to recycle.


11 thoughts on “Recycle bin jealousy

  1. I wish I could get a smaller “garbage” toter. My wife and I barely have a small bag to put in it — and it takes up so much room. We have much more recycling than regular trash.

    • It’s great that you are able to recycle so much of your garbage Ron. With our waste service we have to pay extra for the large garbage totes so we just use a regular garbage can and half the time it’s not full either.

  2. We have two totes too..a blue and a yellow basket…the funny thing is that I’ve seen what happens when they are picked up by our waste hauler…they are thrown together in one truck.

    • Deb, I’ve heard that from other people too. I think it depends who your refuse collector is. It probably also depends on whose driving the truck.

  3. With some foresight I repurposed some blue buckets that transported emulsion from Germany back in my DuPont days, over 200 pieces with covers. Now I use these to put paper in one and plastics, metals, and glass in the other. It’s a good thing to be thinking about the future of what you’re ready to throw out because the benefits of saving may outweigh the bonus of making something disappear from view.

  4. I don’t think Monroe County requires separating recyclables (sp?). I’ve never seen that in any of the stuff I have read, but I don’t think I pulled up any ordinances. I come from Chicago where everything was separated into blue bags. We didn’t have the bins.

    • Benita, it may depend on your garbage company. I have Boon & Sons and according to their website they collect all recyclables in one tote (which I didn’t know) and the driver is responsible for sorting. Very rarely would all my recyclables fit in a single tote and it’s easy enough for me to sort them so I’ll continue to do what I’m doing.

  5. The first part of responsible recycling is not purchasing packaging and materials in the first place. I recommend the ‘zero-waste household’ blog to think about what we buy, and how we can avoid it.

    • Mark I completely agree that whatever we can do to minimize waste is the way to go. I compost in the warmer months which cuts down on my waste too but it’s hard right now when the compost bin is snowed under.

  6. I understand the attraction of single stream recycling, but if something in one of the bottles or cans spills on the paper it can contaminate the paper,making it unsuitable for recycling. I think the separate stream makes more sense and only wish the public would be more aware of the need to reduce, reuse, recycle!

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