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Recycling goes uncollected on hot days

Posted August 15, 2008

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— Recycling routes have been one or two days behind schedule in recent weeks, delays that Raleigh officials blame on the summer heat.

Green recycling bins in some neighborhoods have been sitting by the curb for one to two days after the scheduled collection days.

Seil O'Loughlin said city crews have been late in picking up her recycling for three weeks in a row.

"I'm not angry. I would like to see it go. I mean, the whole idea is to recycle, so I'd like to see it go to recycling rather than the landfill," O'Loughlin said.

Mayor Charles Meeker said hot weather puts recycling behind so trash collection can remain on schedule.

Some trash collection trucks overheated, forcing officials to shift other trucks from collecting recycling to collecting trash, said Phillip White, assistant director of the Solid Waste Services Department. Workers also were allowed to stop their routes early on extremely hot days.

"There are some hot days workers are asked not to finish their routes because of heat exhaustion problems. Recycling staffs are outside the trucks all day by and large, and quite often, things do get behind, particularly at the end of the week,"  Meeker said.

Officials said all recycling routes would be caught up by the end of Friday, though some homes around the city still had full recycling bins out late Friday afternoon.

13 Comments

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  • tsquaring Aug 15, 2008

    And it would be nice if they put the bins back where they were instead of just tossing them anywhere.

  • commonsensical Aug 15, 2008

    I live in Wilmington. It's been pretty hot here, and WAY more humid than in Raleigh. And salaries are about 20% lower. Trash and recycling are running on time! Maybe Raleigh's trash collectors are unionized?

  • jjkilgore Aug 15, 2008

    Getting started earlier is a good idea. I'm not certain of what the cost and logistics for it would be, but still its' an alternative,

    Now, for those of you who are not appreciative of what the recycling guys do, take your recycling to a center yourself. Better yet, spend a day doing their job. We'll see whether or not you think it's hot.

  • Madonna Aug 15, 2008

    Gee whiz... it hasn't been that hot. Actually this week it's been rather nice.

  • joe41080 Aug 15, 2008

    We need bigger bins! Look how much stuff is in the photo!

  • howdiditgettothis Aug 15, 2008

    I agree with SaveEnergyMan.

    Give a bone to all these angry posters. Geez, this isn't rocket science.

    Frankly, I'm sure there are plenty of reasons why the city runs behind on picking up trash.

    How about using your jeering energy on someone who deserves it?

    Weeding out all these government employees who keep embezzling!

    Do you honestly believe these guys are "living the high life" because they get an hour off from picking up your smelly trash (recycle or not) in 90+ degree weather?????

    Why don't you think of them next time you're sitting in your office surfing the internet when you should be doing your JOB????

    Better things to waste my energy on.

  • janward01 Aug 15, 2008

    Have lived here 30 years. The fact is that it IS hot here! So why start with the excuses NOW???? I agree that the job is hard, can't imagine doing it, but where were these excuses years ago when these guys needed them so that they didn't have to suffer from heat prostration?

  • flyfishNC Aug 15, 2008

    I can't go to work today...it's too hot. I think I might try that out on Monday and then Tuesday look for a new job. (I'd like to travel, maybe I'll apply at Wake County)

  • jenstog Aug 15, 2008

    discowhale... that's exactly what I was thinking too, with the exception that in neighborhoods, they aren't usually able to come but so early or people complain about the noise (kids still sleeping, etc.). I worked in commercial property mgmt, and we had a housing dvlp. behind our office buildings. There was always this one lady who'd call our mgmt. office complaining because the trash pick up for the property was too noisy too early and she could hear it! Guess you can't have your cake & eat it too.

  • discowhale Aug 15, 2008

    Back when I was younger and worked outside right here in Wake county, the boss had a solution to the heat. We started earlier, finished earlier.

    If your starting just as the sun comes up, your 8 is over at the time it's getting hottest. I guess the head honchos at the city haven't figured that system out yet.

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