Monday Jun 16, 2008

"Let me tell you something about the Eastbay...

...its California but it ain't sunny" -- Tim Armstrong "Among the Dead" from A Poet's Life

<shiver/>Another sunny but unbearably cool summer day in Berkeley. My office is outdoors. Actually, it's in the garage but with the big door open it might as well be outside. For most of the years I have lived in Berkeley I've been able to work comfortably with the door open through the bulk of the summer. This year, sigh, not so much. Even with a sweater, hat and long pants I'm freezing my butt off today. I've washed my hands in hot water half a dozen times just to keep my circulation going.

If the weather doesn't improve I suspect I'll suffer the same fate as the Terra Nova Expedition. If you don't hear from me in the next couple of days please send skis and mukluks!

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

Who Owns My Trash

Wednesday is garbage day in my neighbourhood and I duly put out my trash, compostables and recycling before my weekly 7am conference call.

This morning two of my neighbours were having an argument outside of my house around 9am. They were squabbling as to who had a better claim on my recycling. The local "crazy old lady" (and this is Berkeley so that's a title of distinction) voiced the opinion that the cans and bottles were rightly hers because she lived on the same block. The other neighbour went with the "but I was here first" defence. I personally would prefer if neither of them took the material.

Berkeley, in spite of it's hippie liberal reputation, has a rather mediocre curbside recycling program. The high value glass and metal recyclables contribute significantly to the costs associated with recycling the harder to recycle materials. By removing the choicest scraps my neighbours are reducing the value of my recycling and making the curbside recycling program less efficient. I certainly don't recycle in order to donate to any individual.

I was tempted to ask the arguers to leave my trash alone but I suspect that would encourage them to just be more surreptitious about their pilferage. I did telephone the Ecology Center, which has the contract for Berkeley's curbside recycling program, to verify that removal of recyclable material is theft. They confirmed that until the recycling truck arrives and collects the materials everything in the bins remains my property. Again, it is probably moot to point this out the scavengers. I think, since the recycling truck doesn't arrive until 1pm, I'll just put my recycling out later.

About

mduigou

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today