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Invasion of the Recycling Bins

April 28, 2014




O! RECYCLING BIN, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Or rather, How do I store thee in or around a small D.C. row house? Let me give it a try. Maybe several.

Yes, my problem seems silly. But it didn’t seem so silly last week when my neighbors and I came home to find two enormous plastic, uh, things blocking our front steps. We knew they were coming sometime this year–D.C. had announced that over the course of the spring it would be replacing our 12-year-old trash cans and teeny recycling crates. But some of us didn’t realize how big a 48-gallon recycling bin is (the city was wise not to aim the 64-gallon version at us). Next to the recycling bin, the trash bin is a mere stripling at 32 gallons. The good news is they both have wheels.

My neighbors peppered the D.C. Department of Public Works with squeals of “Where am I supposed to put this thing?” (my own thought was that it was as big as my powder room, and now I have a photo to prove it!), and the DPW offered residents the option of keeping their scuffed old, more modestly sized bins. But I thought the new bins–especially the gigantesque recycling thingie–deserved more consideration. Pictured here are my attempts (okay, fanciful attempts) at making the recycling bin feel at home in my home.

–Nancy McKeon

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