Red Phone: Trash and street cleaning

Red Phone: Low branches need to be cut


Why do we place stuff for recycling in a blue bin and garbage in
a grey bin only to have the same truck pickup both bins? Does the
company have a crew of sorters going through the collection or does
it all end up being unsorted and deposited in a landfill?

“Why do we place stuff for recycling in a blue bin and garbage in a grey bin only to have the same truck pickup both bins? Does the company have a crew of sorters going through the collection or does it all end up being unsorted and deposited in a landfill?”

Dear Jungle Mix,

Someone had this question a few years ago when the single stream recycling program began. And the answer is still the same. Despite how it looks, the recycling and the trash never mix.

“From the side it appears to all be going together, however if you look from the rear of the vehicle you can clearly see separate compartments, one for garbage and one for recycling,” said Phil Couchee, general manager of Recology, which handles trash pickup in San Benito County and South Valley.

The driver has a valve that transfers the items into the appropriate side of the truck. All the items are taken to the San Martin transfer station. From there, the recyclables are taken to Smurfit Recycling, a processing facility in San Jose, where they are further sorted by type. And the garbage is taken to the Johnson Canyon Landfill in Gonzales.

Just a reminder, bins should be placed 18 inches apart to insure they are easy to pick up.

Can’t street cleaners start later in the day?

“I am wondering why the street sweeper starts so early. I know we have a time slot for when it’s going to be around, but you would think they would start around 7 a.m. when people leave to work? The point of the sweeper is to clean the curb or street of garbage to keep it from going into the storm drains, right? So why not wait until 7 a.m.?”

Dear Late Riser,

While this suggestion may seem like a good idea, it is impractical from a logistics point of view, Couchee said. The crews generally work eight- to 10-hour days depending on the day and need to get an early start in order to be able to finish their routes. Since the street cleaners come every other week – the day after the compost is picked up – people should plan to move their vehicles the night before. If you have a question about the schedule in your neighborhood, call 842-3358.

There’s nothing wrong with pajamas!

“I have on occasion gone to the store with in pajama bottoms and a T-shirt to grab something that I need. What’s the big deal? If you don’t want to see it … don’t look.”

Dear Don’t Rip on My PJ’s!,

So it’s 11 p.m. on a Tuesday, you’ve got to leave for work in 8 hours, and all you want is a cream soda. Yeah – Red Phone hears you loud and clear. Why put on those pants for a jog down the street to Safeway? We don’t see any harm in that.

Now, if Red Phone catches you at the Claddagh with those on, well, we’re going to have to call the fashion police on you.

Leave your comments