City to Village: No Plan B for recycling containers
Complaints about the new recycling carts are growing louder in German Village.
Norman Hall, a member of the German Village Society board of trustees, lambasted the 64-gallon carts as unsightly and too big, and has urged the city of Columbus to come up with an alternative plan.
"I want to recycle and I will recycle," Hall said.
"We just need a smaller option. This 64-gallon (cart) just doesn't work."
Hall brought up his concerns at the monthly German Village Society meeting July 9.
He complained there's no room in his yard or other smaller properties for the blue carts, meaning they'll be left on streets or sidewalks, or in driveways.
Hall said he was relaying the grumblings of several of his neighbors, as well.
He said he has paid for recycling since Rumpke, the city's waste hauler, offered curbside service.
Now, that isn't an option.
German Village is part of the second phase of Columbus' citywide recycling effort.
The city will begin bi-weekly collection recycling in German Village, as well as the South, Southeast and East sides, July 31.
Hall said he'd like to see village residents be offered 32-gallon carts or 18-gallon bins, the same size previously offered by Rumpke.
Residents have the option of rejecting the containers.
It has been recommended people in the village share the carts with their neighbors to conserve space.
Erin Miller, the city's environmental steward, said all residents must use the same sized containers until the program is fully implemented by next February.
After it's rolled out, the city plans to "tweak" things for efficiency, she said.
"So I don't know if we're going to offer smaller carts at that time, but what we do know is when people do get the carts and use them, two weeks of recyclables is a lot of material," Miller said.
"I think people are going to be surprised at how quickly they can fill their recycling cart."
Years ago, German Village was faced with a similar situation when the city issued 96-gallon trash containers.
Complaints from the village prompted the city to deploy smaller receptacles -- 64 and 32 gallons -- to German Village.
Many residents ended up giving the smaller of the two back to the city in exchange for the 64-gallon container, Miller said.
The German Village Society board could decide, after villagers give the bins a try, to formally ask the city for a smaller option, said Shiloh Todorov, director of the society.
"But we need to collect data about neighbors' experiences starting now," she said.
"So, I'm encouraging people to share their recycling stories -- good and bad, in video, photography, poetry, prose or whatever moves them -- so I can help the city understand our circumstances."
Letters with pictures or other observations can be sent via email to Todorov at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.
The GVS' streetscape committee, which met June 26, brought up similar issues with the carts. Some committee members said they hoped other cart sizes would be allowed in the future.
"I think giving people a choice is what will make the program effective and that's what's going to make people embrace the idea of recycling," said Carolyn McCall, a member of the committee
She said she wanted the program to be helpful but acknowledged sniping about it might dissuade people from recycling.
"On the other hand, if people are feeling that they don't have a good option, they're not going to do it anyway," she said.