Large recycling bins here to stay at least for a while
The blue recycling bins are here, making their appearance just two weeks after the Haus und Garten Tour wrapped and days after most of our neighbors got their power back.
The appearance of the vessels has neighbors buzzing -- some in anxious anticipation of where to stash them and some with delight at no longer hauling off their recyclables to a drop-off site.
If you have the can and are ready to get started, collect recyclables inside it between now and July 31, then put it on the curb for the first time that day.
Refuse collectors will pick up recycling every other week. And don't forget to find an out-of-the-way place for the bin so our streetscape remains beautiful!
If you're anxious, read on. I've been taking questions about the mayor's new recycling program since November.
Neighbors and members called to ask what size the bins would be, when they'd be dropped and how often recycling would be collected.
I started working with various city officials to find answers as soon as I received that first phone call at the Meeting Haus.
Knowing that German Village had past success asking the city for a smaller trash can option, I asked city officials I spoke with whether historic neighborhoods were at the table to offer input as the plan was being developed.
Those folks told me data regarding people's preferences from throughout the city were primarily collected through online surveys last year.
At our German Village community meeting about recycling May 22, Erin Miller (the mayor's "green guru") said the city chose a single-size container to save money on the overall buy based on those surveys.
The 64-gallon-cart size was chosen based on being large enough to hold the average amount of recyclables generated in a two-week period.
So, for the moment, we don't have a choice on containers -- the city has made its initial investment and there are no options for alternate configurations.
For the time being, may I offer a couple of options to deal with potential space issues.
* Share a container with a neighbor (perhaps one with a garage where possible).
* Reject the new container. Just call 645-3111 to have the cart removed and it will be redeployed to another area. They'll collect yours within 10 days.
* The city has a limited number of 32-gallon trash containers that can be swapped for the current 90-gallon or 64-gallon trash containers most German Village residents currently have.
Increased recycling should mean less trash, the city said. Request a 32-gallon trash container (limited quantities available) by calling 645-3111. This should help with space and storage issues.
I know -- because I have been taking these calls for seven months already -- that there is some trepidation about bright blue containers in our perfectly lovely historic district.
I hear you.
I have asked every city officials with whom I've spoken to tell me what we can do as a neighborhood, and here is what each has said:
The mayor really wants residents to "try" the system as-is through the end of the year. Allow the city to get all of the carts delivered citywide and allow officials a little time to review the program and tweak it after it is fully implemented.
Then, the city will consider whether a smaller cart should be offered.
If, after year's end, we want to move as a neighborhood (or a GROUP of historic neighborhoods) to campaign for smaller containers, I've been told we'd have a lot better chance of creating a smaller container option at that point in time.
You can help us collect the data needed to make that decision. Share your recycling stories -- good and bad, video and photography -- with me so I can help the city understand our circumstances.
Email your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop them by the Meeting Haus. I will collect and track them, then share them with the Society Board of Trustees so that we can decide -- as a neighborhood -- how well recycling is going in the Village under the city's initial plan.
All questions specifically related to recycling and trash should be directed to the city's 311 service (645-3111) or at http://publicservice.columbus.gov/recycle.
German Village Society Director Shiloh Todorov submitted the Village Notebook column to the ThisWeek German Village Gazette.