Transfer Station Blues

An alert “06880” reader — who wishes to remain anonymous, as will soon be clear — sent along these thoughts, after a trip to the transfer station:

So off I go to the dump with my garbage and recycles.

Today a new sign (I’ve been out of town] greets me: “NO PLASTIC BAGS.”

But all my recycles are securely bound in white plastic bags. Everything has been washed out pretty good, though there is still a bit of liquid in the bags. I guess I should rip them open (they never untie) and dump them into the pods, right?

Then take the plastic bags and put them in the green garbage can. Try not to get anything on my clothes. You know how those plastic bags like to cling to other plastics. Gotta do a shake and shake and shake. Very, very messy.

Look, they even have steps for me.

But alas, the steps lead to a closed door. I’ll go to another one.

Damn, same thing.

Oh well, I’ll keep going. Whoops, these steps are so far away I’ll have to take each item out and throw them in piece by piece.

These steps are a bit far...

Finally, steps that lead to a nearby open door. I can shake here for 15 minutes.

I wonder if all the trash collectors have to rip open every plastic bags they collect before they dump them. OMG, what a task. No way.

A non-environmental thought crosses my mind: Throw everything into the garbage pit like we did in the good old days.

20 responses to “Transfer Station Blues

  1. Dan, I’m with you.
    Just dump it all in!


  2. Welcome back. Don’t worry – you’ll get used to it all as the rest of us have.

  3. You could it them in brown paper bags. No big deal.

  4. Worker there told me the plastic bags jam the gizmos at the recycle center. But the pods are full of plastic bags and lots of other stuff as well. Prior sign said NO BAGS. YEAH VetDoc!

  5. The Dude Abides

    Considering that half of all that is supposed to be recycled never is anyhow and that most of our pollution comes from our air/waterways, throw everything in the dumpster behind Stop & Shop.

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      Dude: someone just might be able to get away with that if they happen to be trolling the aisles in the wee hours acquiring munchies, and greeting those friendly S&S employees

      but the rest of us risk getting arrested for “theft of services.”

  6. Westporter Since '03

    Which is why I gladly pay my trash hauler’s monthly bill
    (+ Christmas bonus) 🙂

    … to be able to avoid this conundrum (as well as the lines at the entrance gate, juicy dripping plastic bags, overwhelming summer-heat odors and ill-mannered dumpers who park and yack for hours on end while others wait to “take their dump”).

    But LOVE the title, Dan: sounds like a song-in-the-makin’ (“I got dem Transfah Stay-shonnn Balloooozz….”)

  7. Yes 03 !
    Those yackers should be tossed in the dumpsters, along with the idiots who need to make a cell phone call after taking a dump. I’ve seen three or four at a time parked and laughing away. And what about the guys in the white vans that look like they have just demolished an entire house and are dumping it one stick of lumber at a time. Sure don’t look like they are from Westport and they don’t have a sticker. I’m with The Dude. Give it back to Stop n Shop.

  8. Sticker? What’s a sticker? I haven’t seen a DPW or Transfer Station employee even check for a sticker in years or ask for proof of residence before giving out a sticker. Me thinks that a ripoff of Town services may be occurring.

    • Exactly!

      That is why I dump my garbage for free in Westport rather than pay to do it in Fairfield (where I live) at their Transfer Station.

      Fairfield robs you of $4.50 every time you want to get rid of a bag of garbage or two.

    • No one has checked stickers since the cranky old guy (15-20 years ago). It is really a shame because Westport citizens are absorbing the added cost. And since 2007, traffic and rudeness have really escalated at the Transfer Station.

      No one gets turned away anymore.

  9. We put all our recyclables in a plastic garbage bag in a garbage can in the house. When it gets full, I take it outside (without tying the bag) and I dump the contents into our “recycling” garbage can. I too clean the recyclables before I dump them so the can doesn’t get smelly, but in the house I use the plastic bag still…Then I throw the bag into the regular garbage can. When the town switched to single-stream recycling, the instructions did say not to put the recycling into plastic bags. I suppose it would be more of a pain if I were bringing all my garbage to the dump, but I do like the new recycling. There’s more things to recycle and we don’t have to sort it, which I was never very good at!

    • For anyone interested, plastic bags can be recycled at Stop ‘n’ Shop, next to the can/bottle machines.

  10. Recycling in Westport just switched to single stream, which means all recyclables are commingled. They are shipped to a facility where they are sorted with automated machinery… for example metal cans are extracted with an electromagnet. Items in bags or other containers cant be sorted like this. And the bags eventually get shredded and suck in the machinery which causes maintenance delays. Hence plastic bags significantly decrease the cost effectiveness of recycling.

    • “And the bags eventually get shredded and suck in the machinery which causes maintenance delays.”

      Sounds like a silly design flaw that a Staples engineering kid could fix in 5 minutes.

  11. What happened to the fellow who “guarded” the dumpster and would help ladies and elderly folks take bags from their vehicles?
    He would also make sure that you didn’t toss in metal or cardboard. Never see him anymore.

  12. Longtime Westporter

    I would much rather go to the recycling than pay $25/week to a trash company. And we just put the cans/etc. into a box and dump that into the containers. No need for plastic bags. (Or don’t tie them tightly so they can be opened to dump the stuff.) We can all do our part.

    However, if out-of-towners are using our Recycling, either the town is making money from the recyclables and thus doesn’t mind … OR we’re being ripped off. Any reply from Steve Edwards about which it is? Thanks. I remember a very nice guy a few years ago who would check out the stickers and help “old ladies” (not me).

    • Longtime Westporter

      I didn’t mean just out-of-towners, but mainly contractors who are being paid to get rid of the lumber from teardowns! They buy them and then put up a McMansion for 3x the price, so “getting rid of the refuse” is part of the cost they incur.

  13. Anonymous Mommy

    Plastic bags are not and never have been recyclable. Stick the recyclables in a rubbermaid container, a blue recycle bin, or paper bag. It’s not that difficult.