Recycling in Rochester

To the Editor:

Today, January 13, 2015, Rochester’s brand new trash recycling carts were delivered. The delivery was quite surprising since I have heard rumblings from friends that changes were coming, but even the town’s website had no schedule of events, rules or coming events regarding our trash.

The two large carts were left at the end of my driveway early this morning. The recycling cart is 4 feet high and weighs 35 lbs. The trash cart is almost 4 feet high and weighs 24 lbs. I was headed off to work early in the afternoon and decided to transport these behemoths to the house and deal with them after work. My driveway is 75 feet long, not paved with blacktop but level and finished with a gray stone dust and stones ¾ inch or less. The driveway has a fairly small incline from the street to the garage, approximately ½ inch per foot. I proceeded up the driveway, walking backwards pulling the carts when the wheels came off the trash cart. When I was able to stop laughing my 73-year old head off, I pulled the larger trash cart to the garage which felt like I was scaling “Heartbreak Hill.” I went back for the disabled cart and dragged it up this monster hill (½ inch per foot), wheels off, axle dragging and leaving deep grooves in the driveway. This was not a good start to introduce me to saving the universe through responsible trash disposal.

These monsters, filled with trash, can easily weigh 70 lbs. “Grandma, put out trash on Friday, please.” They must be placed on the lineless curb, facing the correct direction for the automated ABC truck to latch onto and dump into the bottomless pit know as “The single stream recycling truck.” It’s a good thing we don’t live in New England where the wind can howl, snow will fall followed by plows, and every day is sunny, calm and wonderful. Oh, yeah.

Another small problem is what in the world will we do if all the trash generated weekly on occasion exceeds the cavernous trash cart? Can we burn it? Do we save it until we have a low trash week and can stuff it in the container then? Just wondering.

The Rochester recycling calendar is another hoot. The schedule starts January 1 with threats that we cannot use these wheel-less monsters until February 6. There are more rules than my wife had on our honeymoon. There are threats of fines and we are cautioned that our trash will be monitored for compliance. Got it comrade? Speaking of the fines, who will determine the fine for each infraction? Will an unwashed peanut butter jar be the same fine as putting a soiled diaper in the wrong cart? Not only who will levy the punishment, who will the fine be payable to? Do we get monthly bills from ABC listing things like “Two pet food cans not rinsed, 0.30 cents? Item placed in wrong container, 0.49 cents! Please remit 0.79 cents or your next pickup will be skipped.” Just wondering.

I’m one of the lucky ones in that I will never need to use the “Single stream recycling automated trash collection” system. For the rest of you, aside from leaving the carts on the curb 365 days a year and bring your trash to it until full, I have no good ideas.

Dick Padelford, Rochester



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One Response to “Recycling in Rochester”

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  1. Bronie Rozenas says:

    Yes we have the barrels on the top of Bates Rd….where I assume they will be collected every week. That means I have 1/3 of a mile of driveway, and another 1/3 of a mile of dirt TOWN road. . And I agree, what about the elderly/handicapped, this is not going to be easy on them. But then again, why don’t we just leave the barrels out by the road so that we can make Rochester look real nice. I am not so sure this was properly thought out.

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