September 9, 2004

Running on Trash Day

Today I decided to run my 2 miles outside with Maggie instead of on the treadmill. We were almost back home (Maggie to continue on for another 3) before Maggie reminded me “Trash day is not my favorite day to run.” This after dodging over-full trash bags and running in the wake of malodorous BFI trucks.

Despite it, not a bad run.

Posted by James at September 9, 2004 10:08 AM
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Trash day in the city (I'm talking Cambridge and Somerville) is definitely a day to take the car, only because your chances of coming across a piece of furniture or an excellent record collection by the curb are great.

I, in fact, came across such a record collection in Somerville about 12-14 years ago. Another person walking by stopped. We looked at each other, decided the records were fair game, and picked out what we wanted.

Always scope out trash day in the city!

Posted by: Patti M. at September 9, 2004 10:54 AM

Trash day here is stinky yard waste, stinky trucks, bags that have been ravaged by racoons, and very, very occasionally an odd item that makes you go hmmm. Once there was a polaroid photo of a guy's face plastered to the road for days after a trash pickup, and I really felt sorry for the guy. There is the house that always has HSN boxes in their recycle bin, and I picture some poor woman in front of the TV all day with a phone in her hand. And there's the house that always puts their pizza boxes in the bin, even though they're not recyclable. (How many times do you need the boxes left on your lawn before you learn *that* lesson?) My favorite was the "free stuff and kittens" sign, but that wasn't on trash day.

Posted by: Maggie at September 9, 2004 11:46 AM

Why aren't pizza boxes recyclable?

Posted by: briwei at September 9, 2004 1:54 PM

Maybe they make good frisbees, and the sanitation workers need some entertainment.

Posted by: Maggie at September 9, 2004 2:05 PM

I think pizza boxes aren't recyclable because of the cheese. I'm not sure, though.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 2:27 PM

New Bedford doesn't recycle cardboard boxes. Actually, I think they do if you deliver them yourself, but if you have cardboard at curbside, it just gets put in the trash. Ditto paper bags. Really, really wasteful!

Posted by: Julie at September 9, 2004 2:44 PM

Pizza boxes might not be recyclable for a couple of reasons:

a. Foodstuffs stuck to items render them non-recyclable.
b. Many towns/haulers will not accept corrugated cardboard.

When I applied for a recycling permit for my company in Somerville, a woman at city hall told me the city doesn't take cardboard because there's no market for you.

So remember to "close the loop" by buying recycled products. You can be vigilant about all things recyclable in your life right down to the paper packet your teabag comes in, but if you then do not buy recycled goods, you're not helping as much as you think you are.

This concludes today's lesson.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 9, 2004 2:47 PM

James (re the pizza boxes) - That's what I keep telling Melissa but she wipes the food out puts them in with our recycling anyway and they take them. Not sure what happens to them at the other side :-)

Patti - corrugated cardboard is specifically something they will take in our town. They'll recycle quite a bit, actually.

Posted by: Jim at September 9, 2004 4:05 PM

Wow, Jim, that's great. It's been about 6 years since I worked in Somerville, so things may have changed.

Your pizza boxes might be fine if they're paper, not cardboard, or if they really don't have food stuck to them. The flip side is that maybe your hauler is taking them and throwing them out (or worse, throwing out the entire bag/box of recycling you've put your pizza box(es) in).

I know our hauler at home in the burbs will not take things like cardboard egg crates. Go figure.

Posted by: Patti M. at September 9, 2004 4:11 PM

I just realized this posting, "Running on Trash Day," is the reason I've been humming the refrain from the lackluster but nonetheless unforgettable Jackson Browne tune "Running on Empty."

Thanks, James.

And for all of you who, here are the lyrics. Share my pain.

Running on - running on empty
Running on - running blind
Running on - running into the sun
But Iím running behind

Posted by: Patti M. at September 9, 2004 4:15 PM

Note how Jackson Browne has thwarted my usually stellar command of the English language.


Posted by: Patti M. at September 9, 2004 4:17 PM

I feel your pain.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 4:42 PM

Did you know women are more prone to getting tunes stuck in their heads than men?

Our town takes corrugated cardboard, but not corrugated cardboard pizza boxes. And there's no leeway at the curb. If it's the rule, the rule is followed, even if the cheese is scraped out of the box. And it doesn't get thrown in the trash. It gets stuck back in your recycle bin -- your problem until next week.

Posted by: Maggie at September 9, 2004 5:54 PM

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