Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Metro Public Service Director Rectifies Stolid Stupidity Of Solid Waste Director's "Stomp"

Since the automated trash cart program started a few months ago, 8,000 requests from around Nashville have been made for extra carts. However, only a few hundred requests have been honored. Last spring I spoke by phone with a Public Works official who promised me that if I wanted an extra cart at that time I could request one and that it would be available in June. While I did not choose to request one at the time, I can see now that it probably would not have made a difference, since we are now well past June and only a few people requesting extra trash carts have actually received them.

That black eye on Metro's reputation was only aggrevated recently by the Solid Waste Department. The Solid Waste Director, Chase Anderson, minimized his department's failure to provide the promised extra trash carts, and he offered some truly stupid advice to residents. According to the Aug. 3 edition of the Nashville City Paper, Mr. Anderson said,
“We are finding some households do not do the ‘Nashville Two-Stomp’ on their trash .... Residents may find it easier to set a bag of trash on the ground as opposed to stomping down their trash and placing that extra bag in the cart."
I would love to see the scientific method by which Mr. Anderson determined that households were not stomping trash. But beyond that, I would love to know why I should have to stomp my garbage when I could get an extra cart as promised if I needed one. I put my garbage in a bag inside of a container precisely so that I will not have to stomp around on it. If I wanted it stomped, I'd throw it on my kitchen floor until it was as flat as Mr. Anderson likes before bagging it and taking it to the cart. But I don't want to stomp on my trash. I want to be able to bag it up after it is full, making as little contact as necessary, and to haul it out to a cart. Then, I expect responsive service. "Stomping" was not a part of the original bargain.

And Mr. Anderson's second alternative is no better. He suggests that, in lieu of another cart, I recycle more. Apparently, Mr. Anderson is unaware of the problems we have encountered in Salemtown with recycling during the past year. I can't even get Curby to clean out recyclables that have been in my recycling cart for months. If I start recycling more now, I have no guarantees that I won't end up with a full recycling bin in a matter of days that will in turn sit full for weeks on end. That option is unacceptable for me until Curby shows itself to be a useful and a better working program at my house. Besides, I think that Mr. Anderson is merely doing the "Bureaucratic Two-Stomp" past his responsibilities in order to pass the buck to another department so that he will not have to deal with it.

I was encouraged to read today that the Public Works Director, Billy Lynch, is distancing himself from Mr. Anderson's bone-headed stomp suggestion and ordering the conversion of 2,500 stored recycling carts to trash carts, which will be delivered to a segment of the 8,000 who want an extra cart. Public Works is also promising that newly ordered trash carts will be in within two weeks. We will see. For now, it's good to see that Mr. Lynch gave Solid Waste an appropriate attitude adjustment. I wish he could straighten Curby up, too.

08/09/2005, 10:55 p.m. Aside: It occurred to me in reading this over again that repeating "Mr. Anderson" over and over in the post was reminiscent of "Agent Smith" in The Matrix.
"Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? It is the sound of inevitability."

1 comment:

  1. I guess this goes with out saying but I'm going to anyway...

    Let's break this down shall we?

    1: Take your trash and place it in a thin plastic bag (mind you there is glass and plastic bottles with the caps on.)

    2: Once full remove bag and take out to the yard or street.

    3: Place bag on ground and stomp on bag until it becomes thinner.

    4: Hit one of the hard glass or plastic bottles with your foot.

    5: Wake up... Realize you've been out cold for a good thirty seconds due to your foot flying out from under you as you slammed it down on to a hard round object covered in thin plastic and covered with very slick ick.

    6: DON'T MOVE. Slowly remove cell phone from pocket and call 911.

    7: Admire the day or night sky while trying to ignore the pain, shame, and utter stupidity of you've just done.

    8: Ask medics if they wouldn’t mind cleaning up the trash that is now all over the place because you decided to stomp on your full trash bag causing it to rip and throw trash all over the place.

    9: On way to hospital call layer to sue the city for the suggestion that someone due something like this.

    10: Recover and repeat because you still don’t have the extra trash can that you requested.