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Word Nerd

What a bargain...for only 60 cents more a month Sunnyside will take on a cleaner look on garbage day

The Sunnyside City Council approved the new garbage collection system this past Monday, meaning residents, for just an additional 60 cents a month, will no longer be required to supply our own garbage cans.

The new bins will be much bigger, 96 gallons, but are pretty nice. People who currently have the single can option will get a smaller 48-gallon can.

The new cans are rolling bins with attached lids, so the likelihood of losing a garbage can lid will go down dramatically. In addition, the new cans are heavier and sturdier than what we've been allowed to use before, because the lifting of the cans will now be done by the truck instead of a person.

These new garbage cans will eliminate some problems I've had with our garbage system since I moved here.

You see, garbage day is not a pretty day in Sunnyside. Out on the streets you will see a mix of cans, different sizes and colors, some dented and some brand new. Driving through the streets you will no doubt notice that many of the cans lack lids.

The reason for the lack of lids is fairly simple. Garbage collectors are in a hurry, and even on cans that have "locking" lids, they don't have the time to secure the lid as they are doing their rounds. I don't blame them, but it is a frustration when the next heavy breeze picks up my can and tosses it around, with the lid flying free.

I cannot count the number of orphan garbage can lids I've seen around town. Oddly, when my own lid gets lost, I never see a hint that it even existed at all. Every stray lid I find doesn't fit my can.

The winds of Sunnyside sometimes seem malevolent to me. For my first year in the valley I knew it was garbage day because a windstorm would invariably blow up that day. If my can survived the wind long enough to be picked up, the chances were good it would be blown into the street before I had a chance to get home and put it away.

The winds also take loose garbage from neighbors' lidless cans and blow it into my yard, where I get to pick it up. Add in dogs and magpies picking through and spreading garbage around, and some garbage days I wonder if I'm living in a dump.

There are downsides to the new cans. I went as a citizen to the hearing on the garbage cans last year and listened with interest to the concerns other people had with the new bins.

Despite the wheels, the bins may be difficult for some of our older citizens to maneuver. I urge folks to keep an eye on their neighbors and lend a hand when it's needed.

The cans also may not fit in a garage. They are not small. Thanks to their sturdiness, they should be able to survive outside quite well, but I know some people don't like the idea of having a can sitting near the driveway in view all the time.

Overall, I think the new garbage bins will be an improvement for the city, and will come to be well liked after they are introduced in April.

And maybe some year in the not-too-distant future, we can also see curbside recycling here. A girl can dream.

1 Laura Gjovaag 1/13/2012 2:46 PM

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