To the Editor:
Along with all Alexandria residents, I recently received in the mail a brochure from the Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, Resource Recovery Division. The purpose of the brochure was to provide information about the city's trash collection and recycling.
The brochure was 9 inches by 9 inches square, four-color, and 16 pages in length. The publication was filled with colored pictures of city staff, pictures of examples of items to recycle and not to recycle, and helpful photos of a man standing by two trash containers, a child with a recycling container, and two different garbage trucks.
Surely this brochure was expensive to produce, and it is large and unwieldy. It is difficult to imagine that many residents will keep it for reference. Thus, it will be tossed in the trash by the thousands, adding to the volume of Alexandria's recycling material or landfill waste.
The publication strikes me as ludicrous. The information in the brochure could easily have been conveyed on a couple of pages of paper, printed two-sided, in black ink. That would have been environmentally responsible.
Which Eco-City Alexandria manager approved this brochure project?
The brochure brought back memories of all residents receiving a new blue recycling bin several years ago. They appeared without warning all over the city. They were more attractive than the yellow bins were that most of us had been using, but they met a need that did not exist. We already had recycling bins.
In my neighborhood, there are few garages and little or no outdoor storage, and so these new bins created a huge problem. What to do? Why were they delivered without a request? Was yellow out of fashion?
One of my neighbors called the city to say that she had no need for another bin and no room to store it. She was told that the bins could "nest together," thus solving her problem. The next trash collection day saw an assortment of new blue bins and yellow bins by the curb — with notes attached, asking the garbage collectors to haul them away.
What a shameful waste.
As a homeowner in Alexandria, I am tired of hearing about the city's budget problems when I see this kind of wasteful spending and poor decisions.