A battery of questions about hydrants, recycling

Sunday, July 8, 2018 8:22 PM

Since fires dominate the news, I’m curious why the city has pink fire hydrants. Is the city out of red paint? Not that pink is bad or anything. I just thought fireplugs should be red. Sign me, Bernie N. Ferno

If Action Line were any more cynical, pink fire hydrants would be concrete proof of the city’s dire finances.

It’s not that the city can’t afford red paint. It’s the fact that our cash-strapped city is involved in a hush-hush sponsorship deal.

In this case, the city is getting kickbacks from Victoria’s Secret to promote the retailer’s “Pink” brand via municipal infrastructure.

Pink is on every street corner, seeping into our consumer subconscious.

Thus, we now know the secret behind Victoria’s Secret. It’s an understated but underhanded underwire underwear undertaking.

But let’s slip into something more comfortable and look at pink through rose-colored glasses.

Durango’s fine rosé fire hydrants are just a little faded because erstwhile volunteers are a bit busy.

In previous years, crews from the Durango Fire Protection District could pitch in as needed. “We’ve helped paint in the past,” said Fire Marshall Korola Hanks. “But with call volume increasing, our ability to assist is less and less.”

So Action Line, being a red-blooded Durangoan, made a heads-up phone call – a plug for plugs, if you will.

Within an hour, our good friend and Assistant City Manager Kevin Hall vowed to put out the fire.

“Painting hydrants” is now on the city’s planning and projects agenda. Therefore, no one has to have their undies in a bunch over pink.

When I moved to Durango in 1999, there were clear, plastic tubes around town for recycling old batteries to keep their heavy metals out of landfills and waterways. But the recycling tubes haven’t been around for years. Could we send our dead batteries to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt? He seems to like old stuff, as seen by his recent effort to buy a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel. Or maybe we could start the battery recycling program again. – Not Sleeping Well At Night

Now that scandal-plagued Mr. Pruitt has resigned, there’s no point in providing him with used materials despite his yen for domestic detritus. As they say, “you made your bed, now lie in it.”

Instead, we can support our existing battery recycling program.

The city has never stopped recycling batteries. The plastic-tube thing was a volunteer effort.

The Durango Recycle Center, 710 Tech Center Drive., takes single-use AAA, AA, C and 9-volt batteries from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The fee is $2 per pound.

Meanwhile, rechargeable and cell-phone batteries are accepted on Saturdays, when electronic recycling is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out for more information.

And if you have an old mattress, remember that the city won’t pick up these during Fall Cleanup.

Fall Cleanup is only for tree trimmings less than 8 feet long and less than 8 inches in diameter and bagged or boxed loose brush and leaves.

Other junk such as old sofas, broken appliances, smelly carpet, etc., will have to wait for Spring Clean.

With Pruitt out of a job, maybe we’ll see him this April cruising up and down Durango’s alleys, looking to score some used furnishings on the cheap.

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity if you were able to recharge your batteries over the weekend.