Recycling Update

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy six weeks, and I wanted to give you an update on several city and community issues, starting with recycling.

The second phase of Dallas’ new recycling program has begun. New, blue recycling bins were distributed to residents, and if you haven’t gotten yours, you can call 311 to request a bin. Remember, recycling is now “single-stream,” meaning you can pile all your paper, glass, metal, and plastic (all but #6) into one container.

Residents (including my home) who have alley pick up are NOT eligible at this time to use the blue bins. Because our alleys are narrow, we have to have small recycling trucks pick up our recycling and do manual pick up instead of automatic. Some folks who have alley pick up were delivered a blue bin in error. The city will come by and pick up your blue bin (you can even fill it up with recycling).

I’ve gotten tons of emails from people expressing their new found love of their blue bins, and their frustration with having to give it up because they have alley pick up. We have hopefully come up with a couple of possible solutions: First, the Sanitation Department is going to design a process so that streets that want to convert to street pick up for trash and recycling can do so. They don’t know what the process will be at this point, and because they’re in the middle of getting the new recycling program up and running, it’ll take a few months for them to get focussed on creating an alley-to-curb pick up process. But it’s in the works.

Second, I talked with the head of Sanitation yesterday, and proposed that we try a pilot alley recycling program using the blue bins. I went out to meet with the recycling guys when they picked up recycling from my home last week, and it looks to me like it might be possible to use the bins in the alleys. It may depend on the alleys and how much room there is for bins and the trucks to navigate, but it’s worth a try. The pilot program will take a few months, but hopefully this could be a solution.