| News |

Denver Recycles is a post-holidays Grinch

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Since the holidays, countless piles of boxes have surely been left destitute up and down Denver's streets. I know this because that was the case by my house last and all down my street last week. Heap after heap of cardboard was ignored by the recycling truck rumbling past, left to be strewn by the wind across lawns and into traffic -- and all because said cardboard had the audacity to be too large or cumbersome to fit into the purple recycling bins distributed by the city.

I should have seen this coming. My relationship with Denver Recycles (the nuts and bolts of which can be read about in the Westword story "The Hunt for Green") has been rocky ever since the time I accidentally left my recycling bin facing in the wrong direction on pick-up day. For that infraction, the recycling worker wrote on the top of my bin in mega-sized, grease-pencil letters that I needed to "READ THE INSTRUCTIONS" -- thereby suggesting to all my neighbors that I was illiterate, dyslexic or both.

But I was willing to let bygones be bygones. "Hell, it's the holidays," I thought last week as I propped against the curb my load of extra-large boxes, all neatly folded and consolidated into one tidy, easy-to-chuck-into-the-recycling-truck package. "Surely the good folks behind the wheel will be touched that my neighbors and I are so gung-ho about recycling that they'll take this extra stuff." And anyway, I reasoned, if these guys had the time and inclination to get out of the truck and pen me nasty notes on my recycling bin, surely they won't have a problem dealing with a few extra boxes.

Wrong. There were my boxes that night, though half had been scattered down the street during the windy day. Grumbling to myself, I collected the refuse and, since it was still too large to fit in my now-empty recycling bin, trundled it over to the back-alley dumpster and heaved it in. Yes, Denver's landfill is now just a little bit bigger and several more trees have died in vain -- but don't come complaining to me. Talk to my recycling guy. -- Joel Warner

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.