Public Works delivers crapload o' curb cuts to one baffled Forest Hills street
From BCR's WTF department: "Keep Durham Out of Carrboro?"

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for August 31, 2009

At this writing, it's 7am on the last day of August. The skies are darker than they were a couple of months ago at this time, and a chill's in the air as the rain comes down on the tin roof of our screened back porch. Can there be any doubt that September starts tomorrow?

In the headlines:

  • The H-S' latest reporting on the transit-tax referendum finds Triangle Transit's David King and the executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, Joe Milazzo, both skeptical that a transit tax referendum would be held sooner than fall 2011. Complicating matters: the September 1 start of the statewide temporary 1 cent sales tax increase, which doesn't sunset until July 2011 -- and the possibility of high conservative turnout in the fall 2010 election cycle. (H-S)
  • Having problems here and there with your recycling pickup? Durham solid waste director Donald Long tells the H-S that's because 89% of households are taking their recycling roll-cart to the curb on their pickup day, versus 55% under the old system -- and 65-70% projected by city staff when planning the routes. Meanwhile, all four companies at play for a shared-risk, shared-return contract to market the city's recyclables have indicated they're interested in the mayor's proposed two-year deal that would essentially give recycling collections to one vendor for free to process, with the city getting no revenue share but also no risk of losses at a time of recycling market upheaval. (H-S)
  • The H-S also digs deeper into the Hermitage Court sidewalk issues that got some attention here on Saturday. Among the new findings: the City's ramps, which have seemed excessive to local residents and City Councilman Eugene Brown, are actually designed in accordance with a 1973 state statute that's stricter than the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and which does seem -- by city staff's interpretation -- to lead to what seems, on a quiet oval street, to be an oddly persistent set of curb cuts. (H-S)
  • Howard Clement tells the H-S that he's not dropping out of the race -- "Not by a long shot," he tells the H-S' Ray Gronberg -- despite the suggestion by challenger Darius Little that he withdraw and pass the mantle of endorsement to the 29 year-old challenger. (H-S)
  • Durham's unemployment rate remained steady at 8.4% from June to July; coastal counties Currituck and Hyde saw the lowest unemployment thanks to seasonal summer jobs. A Wells Fargo economist tells the press that major layoffs seem to have slowed and that the recession looks over, but job recovery will be a long time coming. (H-S)



"89% of households are taking their recycling roll-cart to the curb on their pickup day, versus 55% under the old system -- and 65-70% projected by city staff when planning the routes."

Oh, that's priceless. No one predicted that if you cut collection days in half, the probability that people would put their bin out would (roughly) double?


My blue roll-out has been on the curb since the evening of Aug. 19th, in time for scheduled Aug. 20th collection. Today's the 31st and it's still out there, never picked up. My next door neighbor's recycling got picked up on the 20th, as did others on the block. But not mine. Called both Durham One-Call and Durham Solid Waste dept. in the ensuing days. Was assured it would be picked up; was even given a "tracking number" by Durham One-Call. Not of that helped. What a joke.

Having been out of town on previous pick-up day, the thing is FULL. If they miss it *this* Thursday, I may have to dump it on the steps of City Hall.

Mike Woodard

@M: If you will email me off-line ( with your address and phone number, I will have someone follow up with you.

Mike Woodard


B- Why would decreasing the amount of pickups increase the amount of people who actually recycle, bearing in mind that the new carts are more than twice as large as the old bins?


@fletchfoto - wheels my friend, wheels.


fletchfoto--I see your point, but I'd be willing to bet that the probability of whether one puts their bin out has more to do with how long it is before the next pickup than how full the bin is. (That certainly seems to be what the numbers suggest.) After all, if you miss one pickup, that's nearly a month with one load.

Of course, the high level of utilization may also be an artifact of the missed pickups, and may flatten out with time. In that case, my snark will have been unjustified.

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