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Post-holiday recycling blues

September 4, 2014

dewey-blue-bin

No photos of dragonflies covered in dew on this blog but I did manage to photograph the morning dew on a recycling blue bin set.

Thing about these bins is they’re only rolled out of their apartment building on collection day, which normally falls on Tuesday, which was two days ago.

But because Monday was the Labour Day holiday the pickup date should have bumped ahead one day, to Wednesday, which was yesterday.

Either way they shouldn’t have been out today. Unless the building management was confused by the holiday…again.

A tricky schedule complicated by indifference

Every statutory holiday results in union employees getting one weekday off. A lot of garbage collection — public and private — in Vancouver appears to be done by unionized workers so legal holidays affect all recycling collection schedules.

The City of Vancouver’s curbside garbage and recycling pickup schedule marches forward one day, every time there is a statutory holiday.

The private collection of the recycling blue bins is on an elastic four-day schedule. On a week with a statutory holiday, when union employees get the Monday off, the whole schedule moves forward one day. It then snaps back to normal the next week.

Professional building managers don’t often mess up on the blue bin pickup schedule — the only ones who really can are the ones who deliberately keep their blue bins inside their buildings.

Most bin sets though, are always outside. Even most gated sets adjoin buildings and are keyed so the private waste haulers can get at them.

In the neighbourhoods it’s a different story. The city’s collection schedule marches hand-in-hand with confusion. After each and every holiday all bets are off as to when residents will put their recycling blue boxes out — on the old date or the new date. Compliance will actually vary from block to block, as residents, when they’re in doubt, tend to do what they see their neighbours doing or not doing.

But eventually — give it a few weeks — all resident’s in a pickup zone will be on the same page schedule-wise. Usually just in time for the next statutory holiday. Click the image to enlarge it.

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