Trash Talk

Written by: Kim Fundingsland

Good idea? Not so sure?

Supposed to be. Feel good about it. Don’t want to mess with it? Give it a try.

Ahhh. The recycling age has begun in Minot. Yup, some real trash talkin’ has descended upon the city. Those blue top, super-sized recycling carts are the talk of the town. Well, that might be stretching it like a drawstring, but maybe not.
Citizens are being asked to sort trash like they sort their laundry. But instead of whites, colors, delicates, hot or cold, it’s cardboard, paper, plastics. Huh?

Glass? Styrofoam? Nope.

Okay. There’s a bit of learning to do, but the instructions are right on top of the recycling cart, complete with helpful pictures. That helps. Sort of, and it’s all about sorting. Turns out trash is that important. At least disposing of it is.

Trash is not necessarily trash anymore. Some of it, a lot of it, has been elevated to recycling status. Of course, that means some changes in the household. Such as, you can put trash into a bag, but you can’t put a bag into the trash, at least not the recycling cart.

Putting trash bags in the recycling cart is a no-no. Turns out plastic trash bags foul up sorting equipment. Bags of trash, not the recycling kind, go into the trash cart as usual. There is a bit of a difference due to the implementation of recycling.

The City of Minot will be making the rounds to empty recycling carts every other week. Those days replace regular garbage pickup, which has been reduced from four times every two weeks to three. Concerned? Here’s where the “wait and see” and “give it a try” comes in.

What many households will discover is that the amount of usual garbage items that you place in the recycling cart will mean you’ll have far less regular old trash, which should equate to less need for picking up trash four times every two weeks. Three days should suffice just fine with one other day devoted to recycling.

While there’s a certain “feel good” associated with recycling, doing something good for the environment, cutting back on landfill garbage etc., there might actually be a somewhat hidden cost saving.

If you always bag your trash before putting it in the cart, you’ll be using fewer plastic trash bags because recycling is items only, no plastic bags. And because of the large number of recycled items destined for the recycling cart, you should find yourself needing and purchasing fewer plastic trash bags..

What the savings will be for each household, I cannot say. What is known is that the recycling fee charged by the city is $2.50 per month. Given the current economy, it’s a fairly safe bet that neither the price of plastic trash bags, nor the cost of recycling, will be coming down in the months ahead.

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