Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Wrestling those big blue trash bins

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Greg Peck
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Friday we took delivery of our big blue garbage bin. More accurately, let’s call it a cart because it has wheels. The delivery meant I had to add one more item to my weekend to-do list.

I was almost certain that this big bin—the largest of two options the city offered—would not fit in the garage without some head scratching and rearranging. I rolled it in, sat it between our vehicles, and—sure enough—it was too big. I could barely squeeze past it to reach my car door. We couldn’t roll it up to our cars’ front bumpers because we already store our gas grill there.

I came up with a plan, however. We have a stairwell in our garage and only use it to store ladders and garden planters and accessories. So I moved some of that stuff off the first two steps and built a wooden bracket, sort of a step stool, if you will, that I anchored into the second step. Now, I can roll “Big Blue” so it extends out over those first two steps and my wife can still pull her car in without bumping it. I have our lawn mower positioned in a little notch of garage floor next to those steps, and “Big Blue” put the squeeze on the mower handle, but I could prop the handle against the trash can with the back wheels of the mower off the garage floor and it all fits—barely.

What a pain. But workable.

I look around Janesville, and I see lots of these big bins sitting outside. I think they’re larger than most residents imagined. I suspect many people wish they had larger garages. I hope these bins don’t wind up staying outdoors, cluttering up Janesville’s neighborhoods.

A neighbor told me she would need to clean out her one-car garage to make room. Another told me her mother lived to be 90 and that she couldn’t imagine that she would have been able to wrestle even the smaller bin, even with it on wheels, to the curb each week. Maybe folks will have to be more neighborly to the elderly living next door and give them a hand.

We’re still awaiting the smaller bin we ordered for recyclables. I hope it comes soon. After all, the city’s new automated trash and recycling collection system begins next week, and I think that’s our recycling week. I’ve been saving a lot more junk mail and other paper material to put in the recycling bin rather than the trash. I’m realizing that most of the waste I generate at my basement computer desk and at the desk where I pay my bills and do other financial stuff is paper that will go in the recycling bin, adding to that while reducing trash waste.

I’m hoping we can keep the smaller recycling bin in the basement and roll it up the steps twice a month, though lifting it over the attached dog gate at the top of the stairs could be a pain or problematic. I’m also betting that, come June, when the city will allow us to switch to a smaller cart, we’ll be trading in “Big Blue” for a smaller garbage cart, as well. After all, our household has just two people, and with more “trash” going into the recycling bin, I doubt we’d fill “Big Blue” with even two weeks worth of garbage.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 9:19 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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