Wednesday, January 5, 2011

GPS got me green again

A little over a month ago, I wrote about my frustrating attempts to recycle. Those frustrations found their way to the City of Dallas and, lo and behold, the city dispatched the great John Barlow to solve the problem. Barlow was one of the principal activists in getting the city's recycling program up and running and now I am fortunate enough to reside in the Sanitation District of which he was recently appointed supervisor.

Barlow looked into why my recycling wasn't being picked up and discovered, by examining the Sanitation Department's recently installed GPS system, that (1) my regular recycling truck driver had been dismissed, (2) his replacement was absent several weeks because of illness and (3) when that driver returned to active duty he neglected to service my alley. Barlow asked me to give recycling another chance.

So right before Christmas I drove back out to that section of the Brazos River where I had dumped "Old  Blue:" and was fortunate enough to find it washed ashore only about 1,000 yards downstream from where I had hurled it. Since then, I have only had enough recycling to place Blue in the alley once, but that one time it was picked up.

I'm not sure that one time constitutes a successful resolution of my problem or even a trend, but I'm bringing it up today because in an hour or so Sanitation Director Mary Nix is going to brief the Dallas City Council on the success of the GPS system she convinced the council to let her install. She originally told the council it would pay for itself in three years. As it turns out, it has almost repaid its cost in its first year of operation.

What the council probably won't hear is that this GPS system also restored me to my place on the recycling bandwagon.

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