Trash collection in St. Louis consists of shared dumpsters in the alleys. All alleys have two kinds of dumpsters, one for trash and one for yard waste. The trash dumpsters are clearly marked, “No yard waste,” and the yard waste dumpsters are clearly marked, “Yard waste only.” The city collects the yard waste for compost. Since we rent, we have not started our own compost pile, so we use the yard waste bins for our vegetable and fruit scraps.
The problem? Some people fail to comprehend that, “Yard waste only,” means, “Do not put your regular trash here.” Or they comprehend it and are too lazy to walk 30 feet farther to the appropriate dumpster.
I can’t stand to see non-compostable matter in the yard waste dumpster because it means that either a) everything in the dumpster, including the yard waste, will be thrown away, or b) the contents of the dumpster will be composted, with trash mixed in to it.
The other day, I noticed some non-sanctioned items on the very bottom of the almost empty yard waste dumpster. The dumpster with, “Yard waste only,” clearly printed on it. I rolled up my sleeves, gritted my teeth, and dove in to correct the matter.
Immediately after, I looked out our front window and saw that someone had set a million polystyrene take-out containers on the top of our recycling bin. Not only does our recycling program not accept polystyrene (or any #6 plastics), but the presence of forbidden materials in our bin can cause them to skip our weekly pick-up. Can you hear my screams of frustration through the computer?
In conclusion, memo to my neighbors: 1)there is a reason the yard waste dumpster says, “Yard waste only,” and 2)please do not put your dirty non-recyclable trash in my recycling bin. It may come as a shock, but I don’t want those containers, and I don’t particularly enjoy pulling stuff out of the dumpster.