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Old 07-22-2008, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Background:
We live in an HOA (which we like) and we have blue recycling bins around the property, which we use. One is labeled "plastic, glass, and cans" and the other is labeled "newspaper". There is no other information around. Our city has recycling and trash pickup (free), but our HOA contracts with a company for trash pickup due to volume. We've had some illegal dumping and notices have gone out in our monthly newsletter, so most of us are more aware of the situation now. I walk my DD to school every day (year-round) and pass by recycling bins along the way. I have seen various people picking through them or dumping all the contents into containers in pickup trucks. I used to be heavily involved in environmental issues in college here and our city had limited recycling back then. On a whim, I decided to check the City's website for what is currently accepted for recycling. It is far more extensive now!

Today:
I called our property management company to inquire about a few things all at once. Two concerns were related to recycling. One was who is responsible for our bins, does the HOA (meaning each owner) pay for this service or is it through the City (free), how often is it picked up, is there a schedule, etc. The other was what can we recycle, can we get more recycling bins, can we get better labeling, etc. The PM associate was polite and professional and gave me the info she had and said she would check the contract and get back to me on the things she didn't know. She also said she would get the information printed in our monthly newsletter for everyone to see. GREAT!

Vent:
I didn't want to wait for the "what can we recycle?" question to be answered, so I went to the contracted company's website to look it up myself. (We contract with the same company for trash pickup and recycling pickup.) No answer. So, I looked up the nearest office for this company and called. I spoke with a woman who told me she could send me a brochure. I politely said I'd prefer to just hear it now and I started taking notes as she listed items. It sounded JUST LIKE THE CITY'S list, which is FAR MORE ENCOMPASSING than what is on our blue bins!!! I am dismayed for several reasons. Our HOA (which is each of us homeowners) is paying for a service that is being underutilized. We could be doing so much more recycling!!! I asked if it was the same list as the City and she said yes. I commented that most of this was not on the bins and she said yes. WHY NOT????

Ideas:
So, I did have her send me a dozen brochures and I plan to do something with them, but am not sure what yet. LOL (Taping to the bins? Handing out at the monthly Board meeting? Give to interested neighbors?) I also asked if I could have 440 brochures since that is how may units are on this property. She said I could have them at no charge, but would need to pick them up at the office. It is close and on my way to many other places I regularly go. That seems excessive and wasteful, though. So, I emailed the PM associate I had spoken with earlier and gave her the scoop on what I had done and the information I had. I also included the link to the City's website where all the items able to be recycled is listed and suggested she print that in the newsletter as a guide.

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU DO????

Thanks! :

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 07-22-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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I would seriously get those 400 some brochures and go door to door- if you could. maybe you kids could help? Just break it up into sections and tackle one section a week.

The good thing about door to door, is that you would be able to answer questions, and also meet some new friends! Good Luck!

I am also in an uneducated on recycling HOA neighborhood. I HATE seeing overflowing garbage cans (we get trash picked up twice a week)- with recyclables right in the trash! How hard is it to throw plastic bottles in the red bin ????????

i could go on and on, but i won't. now, at least

Jennifer- wife and mom, dreaming of country living
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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I do like the idea of putting the information together with the newsletter because it would probably waste less paper ...face it many people would toss the brochures...possibly without even looking at them...but they would probably atleast look at the newsletter. Even better would be to email it if possible.

I have not even thought about talking to our HOA about recycling.....but I am not sure any trash companies even pick it up around here
We actually have a different trash service as the rest of the neighborhood because we are individual owners....our property does not belong to them

It would be cool if I could start a neighborhood recycling program....possible even take it in foe them....but that seems like a lot of work and not sure that it would be worth it.

thinking out-loud
I would need a trailer with bins and something to pull it with...not sure my mdx has a tow pack. Or a truck with bins in back
I would need to distribute info somehow....perhaps a sign in my hard saying "I will take your recycling in for you " and my number
interested people could contact me.
that would not be a waist of time or resources....I may start a thread for this little idea...


back to original question....
to me it seems like you are doing a great job.....not sure what advice to give
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Ladies!

The property mgmt associate emailed me back thanking me for the information and said she would print my research in the newsletter. She also said she would finish checking on my unresolved issues and get back to me.

Meanwhile, I was talking with a neighbor about all this yesterday. Ironically, her thinking went the same way mine did once I finished giving her all the information I had on this topic. LOL So, we homeowners are paying this waste company to pick up our recyclables each month and then do they turn around and give it to the City (since the accepted items list is IDENTICAL) and get paid AGAIN??? I suppose they are being paid to physically haul the items from our property to the recycling facility instead of each of us homeowners and should therefore reap the rewards???

I don't know what exactly happens, but I plan to find out. Timing-wise, however, I will need to bide my time a bit. I won't be in town for the next two monthly board meetings. I do know people on the board, though, and I might be able to light a fire under the PM associate to "help me understand" this contract...

BlessedOne - You might want to call some of the waste companies in your area. I was surprised to learn most of them in our area do recycling pickup alongside the traditional waste pickup. (Not just the co our HOA contracts.) Our HOA is somewhat unique, but we have communal trash and recycling pickup even though we each individually own. We actually have quite a few communal "items".

If you cannot find a pick-up service and you want to start your own business, then you can certainly start offering your hauling services! Talk about a grass roots effort! The people I see own pick-up trucks and have the bed filled with those large plastic rolling trash cans with secure lids. They sort as they pillfer (or legitimately collect?) the recyclables and take them to the recycling centers and wheel them out of the pick-up and into the line. Far more efficient and large scale than when I used to take our recycling to the center in bags/boxes/whatever I could find in the trunk of our car! LOL I would have to dump our contents into the wheeling trash cans at our center (I at least had everything presorted) from the parking lot and wheel them all in with my then-toddler/preschooler in tow. And with my trunk full, I would walk away with a pitiful amount of cash for my efforts. Those folks in the pick-up trucks walked away with enough to warrant the effort. Vehicles with trailers would be quite a challenge in our recycling center and I am not even sure they are allowed. You may want to start checking out that end of the process before you offer up your services.

Best wishes!!!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 07-24-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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No advice, but wanted to say Good for you!!! It's refreshing to see someone so passionate. I would probably get the brochures & deliver them door-to-door. Then have something printed in an already existing newsletter, like stated above.

Good luck! :
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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I think going door-to-door is a good idea too.

I presume the brochure lists everything that can be recycled so you can suggest directly to your neighbours to put the brochure on the wall near their bin.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
Thanks Ladies!

The property mgmt associate emailed me back thanking me for the information and said she would print my research in the newsletter. She also said she would finish checking on my unresolved issues and get back to me.

Meanwhile, I was talking with a neighbor about all this yesterday. Ironically, her thinking went the same way mine did once I finished giving her all the information I had on this topic. LOL So, we homeowners are paying this waste company to pick up our recyclables each month and then do they turn around and give it to the City (since the accepted items list is IDENTICAL) and get paid AGAIN??? I suppose they are being paid to physically haul the items from our property to the recycling facility instead of each of us homeowners and should therefore reap the rewards???

I don't know what exactly happens, but I plan to find out. Timing-wise, however, I will need to bide my time a bit. I won't be in town for the next two monthly board meetings. I do know people on the board, though, and I might be able to light a fire under the PM associate to "help me understand" this contract...

BlessedOne - You might want to call some of the waste companies in your area. I was surprised to learn most of them in our area do recycling pickup alongside the traditional waste pickup. (Not just the co our HOA contracts.) Our HOA is somewhat unique, but we have communal trash and recycling pickup even though we each individually own. We actually have quite a few communal "items".

If you cannot find a pick-up service and you want to start your own business, then you can certainly start offering your hauling services! Talk about a grass roots effort! The people I see own pick-up trucks and have the bed filled with those large plastic rolling trash cans with secure lids. They sort as they pillfer (or legitimately collect?) the recyclables and take them to the recycling centers and wheel them out of the pick-up and into the line. Far more efficient and large scale than when I used to take our recycling to the center in bags/boxes/whatever I could find in the trunk of our car! LOL I would have to dump our contents into the wheeling trash cans at our center (I at least had everything presorted) from the parking lot and wheel them all in with my then-toddler/preschooler in tow. And with my trunk full, I would walk away with a pitiful amount of cash for my efforts. Those folks in the pick-up trucks walked away with enough to warrant the effort. Vehicles with trailers would be quite a challenge in our recycling center and I am not even sure they are allowed. You may want to start checking out that end of the process before you offer up your services.

Best wishes!!!
I would definitely presort everything before going to the center. I would sort as I put it in the bin. That is what I do with my stuff. Our recycling center does allow trailers and it would be pretty easy getting in and out. And it is all outside so I do not have to worry about getting my kids out of the car. Sadly our recycling center does not pay.
My dad has a little trailer I could probably use, but I am not sure if my new vehicle has towing capability. My parents also have a couple of trucks...but I do not care to borrow those. I have a few bins already (outside of the ones I use all the time). I would just need to get a few more big trash cans.
I used to actually take mutiple family's stuff in, but at that time did not have much room (just a little car's trunk and a little interior room)....so it was a little overwhelming. And then the families stopped recycling.

I did realize that our HOA changed to our trash company....so that makes it a little more pheasable. I need to see if they do recycling or not. If they did...then maybe we could get recycling going in our community.


Thank you for the good suggestions.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to give a little update: I received the brochures from the waste company. They are one-sided with English down one column and Spanish down the second column. I am going to tape a few to the existing recycling bins (outdoors) for now. I am also going to give one to each of my neighbors who I know recycle already. We are traveling a lot next month and DD is in year-round school (which we love), so we only have six weeks of "summer". Once our travel is concluded, I can take this a step further with visits to the board meetings and further discussions with neighbors, etc. We live in an area that is generally more "green" than average already. I'm going to focus on the fact that "we" (collective homeowners) are already paying for the recycling service, so let's use it to its full potential... and educate, educate, educate...

Thanks for the suggestions!

BlessedOne - I'd love to hear an update any time on your progress.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 07-29-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysandiegan View Post
I just wanted to give a little update: I received the brochures from the waste company. They are one-sided with English down one column and Spanish down the second column. I am going to tape a few to the existing recycling bins (outdoors) for now. I am also going to give one to each of my neighbors who I know recycle already. We are traveling a lot next month and DD is in year-round school (which we love), so we only have six weeks of "summer". Once our travel is concluded, I can take this a step further with visits to the board meetings and further discussions with neighbors, etc. We live in an area that is generally more "green" than average already. I'm going to focus on the fact that "we" (collective homeowners) are already paying for the recycling service, so let's use it to its full potential... and educate, educate, educate...

Thanks for the suggestions!

BlessedOne - I'd love to hear an update any time on your progress.
so far I have not gotten too far. I checked the trash service to see if they do recycling. They do...but it is a totally different set up. A 'recycling truck' comes every other week on the same day as our normal trash route. I have not gotten pricing yet....but honestly I was not pleased with the short list of what they said they take. I would still have to go to the normal recycling center because they take more than them. So I probably would not personally use the recycling service but keep things the same way they are. If I found out that the recycling service was not horribly expensive I may bring it up to the HOA. If it got shot down, then I thought about doing a survey with the community to see if it would be something that would even be taken advantage of. I could then figure out if I should push for the service or offer to do it myself.
Although I did look at my new vehicle and I do not think that it has a tow package, which kind of presents a little bump in the road .....but not a road block.

I am glad you are getting somewhere!
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello again BlessedOne! Sounds like you took some good first steps. Have you gotten anywhere now?

I wanted to update that we were out of town most of August, so this just sat for me. However, I was very pleased to see our HOA newsletter has another article on this topic titled, "Recycling is Easy". Whoever wrote it did a good job giving a short paragraph describing what is necessary and what isn't in order to recycle here in our HOA bins. Another reference was made to the web site I found for the property management company.

I need to figure out what my next steps will be at this point.

I have noticed an increased use of the recycling bins and that makes me smile!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 09-08-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Hello again BlessedOne! Sounds like you took some good first steps. Have you gotten anywhere now?

I wanted to update that we were out of town most of August, so this just sat for me. However, I was very pleased to see our HOA newsletter has another article on this topic titled, "Recycling is Easy". Whoever wrote it did a good job giving a short paragraph describing what is necessary and what isn't in order to recycle here in our HOA bins. Another reference was made to the web site I found for the property management company.

I need to figure out what my next steps will be at this point.

I have noticed an increased use of the recycling bins and that makes me smile!
awesome!

No I have not gotten too far. I checked into the established recycling companies and most do not serve this area and if they do they are crazy priced.
I figured that if I did start a community recycling program then I would need to get a small trailer, bins and a tow package for my vehicle.....
So that may be a bit more than I care to jump into right now anyway....maybe later.
Before I went out on that limb, I would do a survey to see if anyone was interested...but another thing is that many people in this area do not stay living in here long....there are a lot of appartments so some people only stay like 6 months (or as long as their contract) and that could be hard to keep up with.
Right now I think the business idea is a bit much, although I may make recycling somehow more available in the area. Perhaps I could put some bins that are clearly labeled out by the road....but the annoying thing with that is getting dirty stuff and non recycleable stuff. Even with that I would need something to haul the larger loads of stuff to the center.
So to be honest I am not sure what I am going to do. If anything...
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I thought I would give an update...maybe some inspiration to others...

I must have spoken to the right people at the right time or something. With the monthly newsletters mentioning recycling each month since August, our recycling bins have been overflowing!!! Now, our HOA is taking it to the next level.

We previously had two blue recycling bins (size of curbside rolling trash cans) at roughly 1/3 the trash enclosures on the property. These were outside the enclosure. The enclosure typically held two trash dumpsters, although there were some exceptions. One enclosure at each end of the property had a yard waste dumpster and one trash dumpster. The least used enclosures had one trash dumpster and the recycling bins were inside the enclosure.

NOW, every trash enclosure on the property (except the ones with yard waste dumpsters -- those will remain as is) will contain one trash dumpster and one recycling DUMPSTER!!! No more bins and everyone can participate. I used to walk our recycling to much farther trash enclosures and most people didn't. I won't have to anymore and I am sure this will also increase the participation of recycling since it'll be right next to the trash dumpster. (The dumpsters are very different colors and have clear signage, at least from the pictures...)

The other good thing is the literature went out to every single homeowner and it was pretty comprehensive while being straight-forward and easy to figure out.

Oh, the new dumpsters are supposed to arrive within the month of January.

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!

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Old 01-06-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

My DD (age 7) keeps checking the enclosures waiting for the new recycling dumpsters to arrive. LOL Kids really get into this!!!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 01-17-2009, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I called today to confirm that we can now recycle all plastics #1 - #7. WOO HOO!!!!

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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