Let's take, as an example, the trash. It used to be simple. We'd put out our trash and recyclables. The trash guys would come and take the trash. The recycling guys would come and take the recyclables. As long as you didn't do something stupid, like put out a dumpster-load of old furniture or something, everything worked.
Late last year, the contract was shifted to another company. First day the new guys came careening through the neighborhood, shouting and staggering around like they were drunk, spilling half the trash into the road and leaving the trash cans lying everywhere. We had to go out and clean up so that cars could get through the street. We complained, and I'm sure others did as well. That never happened again.
What has happened is that they've become extremely picky.
This summer, when we did some yard work to get rid of some bamboo, we threw the bamboo roots into the trash to make it go away. So the trash guys left our trash. Apparently, "organic matter" is not trash, and ruins the landfills. We had to separate out the bamboo roots from the rest of the trash and only set that out on the days specified for picking up organic waste.
Last week, we collapsed our rather magnificent collection of cardboard boxes and stuffed them into 2 uncollapsed boxes and left them sitting next to the recycle bin. Recycling guys came, took the cans and bottles, left the cardboard. Trash guys came, took the trash, left the cardboard.
We called to find out why. Well, apparently because SOME of the boxes were not collapsed, they couldn't take any of them. So, we collapsed all the boxes and stuffed them into the recycle bin, and put them out last night.
Today, the recycling guys came by, pulled the boxes out of the recycling bin and set them on top of the trash cans, and then took the cans and bottles.
Apparently (according to the people we talked to today), you aren't allowed to put your cardboard recycling into the recycling bin. They will refuse to take it. Cardboard must be on the ground NEXT TO the recycling bin. It must be flat. It must be 2'x2'. It must be tied. It must not be "co-mingled." If the cardboard is not 2'x2', if it is in the wrong place, and if string is not involved, the cardboard will be left.
All this, we are told, was explained to us in the certificate of non-compliance that was left with our rejected offerings. Certificate of non-compliance? We've never seen one of these. I'm sure it's quite impressive, had one ever been presented to us.
Please, someone 'splain me, why do we want to create roadblocks to recycling?