The City of Howell just switched trash collectors, from Waste Management to Advanced Disposal. Our first pick up with Advanced Disposal happens this week.
So far, the switch seems OK. I really, really like the new recycling container. It’s larger, holding nearly twice as much as the previous two bins we used. It’s also got wheels, and it’s covered. All good there.
But I am sad because the annual, one-day, “spring cleaning” pick ups in the city are finished. Instead, the new trash company will pick up one large or bulky item each week at no charge, which will save us the $5 we used to pay for removal.
But the spring cleaning pick ups — which were free of charge and something quite special — are no more, and I am kind of sad about that; they were, after all, the ultimate recycling events.
People throughout the city would start hauling out their throw-aways a day or two early, stuff like construction materials, garage-sale leftovers, and anything else they no longer wanted or needed. As spring pick up day drew close, the neighborhoods would swarm with people looking for stuff they could use, or repair, or sell.
Trucks and vans and vehicles with trailers would slowly cruise the streets as people sought out good stuff. Some people collected only metal items. Others picked up small appliances and television sets, or old tools, or wood. And some hunted down tossed-out furniture that could be repaired or restored.
Then, when the trash company rolled in, almost like magic, the amount of stuff to be removed had been significantly reduced by the roving recyclers.
It was amazing how efficiently it all happened, and how the spring pick up became an “event.” If you didn’t pay attention to the city calendar, you’d know it was spring pick up time because the city streets were dotted with trash piles of various sizes, all available for pickers, myself included.
Someone threw out the ironing board I use when I occasionally press something. And I’ve got two rather nice chairs someone no longer wanted.
Somewhere, someone is enjoying the old outdoor table and chairs my parents gave me when they moved to a condo. I had my own outdoor furniture, and those old pieces needed much more love and refurbishing than I could deliver.
So, now it feels like we are trading a larger recycling container for what I called the ultimate recycling event.
Will it be a good switch? Only time — and the pickers — will tell.