I have been angry for some time, and it led me to do something I typically wouldn’t. On February 2, I complained on Facebook.
Posting this photo, I gave the following ‘status update’:
Ok, Annapolis friends, I don’t usually gripe but I am fed up. Does this look like recycling to you?!? Every week they empty our two yellow bins and leave the tall one UNLESS I hang a sign on it saying, ‘Recycling. Please take this.’ Needless to say I didn’t put up a sign today….I mean, really?? Really??
Many friends responded and shared their same frustrations, and I relished the sympathy for a little while. Don’t we all stew in our own self-pity sometimes?
But others suggested I go to the city’s facilities office and ask for one of the new, larger, blue bins with a lid on top. After two weeks of delay – and not feeling any better about the situation – I finally made the trip today. I walked into the city building so ready to politely vent to whomever was in charge.
A petite woman emerged from a back room with a resigned smile on her face. I explained my situation, and she told me that the blue lidded bins were on back-order, but that I could take one of the open top ones, if I’d like.
And then she told me what hadn’t occurred to me before – that there is considerable turnover among the contractual companies that pick-up the city’s waste, so it’s not the same people on our route from week to week, and they know only that they should pick up the blue bins. They’re in a hurry of course, and they kind of go on ‘auto-pilot.’
I started to envision these guys – dumping my cans on 15 degree mornings, not stopping to look at the cans’ contents. Moving from job to job. Trying to provide for families.
Then I realized, my bins are yellow!
I was holding the yellow ones in my arms, ready to exchange them, when she asked how I’d gotten them. I said, “I’ve had them 14 years. I don’t really know.” She replied, “Well, get yourself a blue one and you won’t have any trouble.”
I guess I’m blessed they had been picking up the stuff in my yellow bins at all!
I left there with a new blue open-topped bin, and I will go back to get a lidded one when they come in.
I also left there with a reminder: there is usually more going on than meets the eye, and it’s always important to extend sympathy to others. Even if you don’t fully understand the rules, obey them and life generally goes more smoothly.
It was like a little bit of divine insight pulled out of my own trash heap.