Recycling bins

We’d like to hear your ideas for reuse of anachronistic blue tubs

We are among the many who have discovered that the city’s new single-stream recycling system looks to have clearly tipped the balance of recyclables vs. nonrecyclables heavily in favor of the former. Recycled glass must be handled separately, but otherwise at week’s end the stand-up home recycle containers have more in them than do the trash containers.

In fact, we are hearing from some that the trash containers could be picked up every two weeks rather than every week.

While neighborhood schedules probably vary, in some instances, it appears as though the city’s trash pick-up may be running ahead of schedule because of the light loads. Placing your trash container curbside in the morning to avoid any bears – which is a sensible habit year-round because who knows when bears are hibernating or not – has to be done a little earlier to avoid missing the truck.

But what to do with the blue boxes with the hinged lid that were the city’s initial home pick-up recycle effort? The plastic they are made of is not recyclable. Oh, the irony of it!

If the blue boxes cannot be turned into another plastic product, or into some kind of composite material that provides shelter and warmth, what can they be used for?

We ask Herald readers to give us their suggestions at letters@durangoherald.com

In order to give a sense of what we hope for, here are a few of our ideas: with a stick and a rope, a trap for a raccoon or a skunk (that would be single-use, however); as simple as a garage storage container for winter footwear; or dirt-filled as a small-scale herb or tomato garden; or as a small-scale compost bin. In multiples, filled with water inside a south-facing window, they would store heat.

None of these ideas has the heft to go viral, but, who knows, another use might. With a saw, a drill and some nuts and bolts, a number of the blue boxes could become a house wall. Could they play a role in the modern-day equivalent of straw-bale home construction?

On every path to improved technology inventions along the way are tossed aside. Let this one, recycling, be true to its purpose. How will you put your residence’s blue box to another use?