Monday, July 28, 2008

Added to My Wish List

Garbage pick up in Ithaca is strange, at least to me. Instead of paying a monthly fee to the city, we buy stickers that go on trash bins. There are two options: full size (35 lbs) or half size. Each sticker is good for one bin. If the garbage collectors see the trash can on the curb with the sticker, they will stop and retrieve the waste. Recycling, which is collected every other week, is free, and most recyclable items are collected. In general, I think it is a good system because it gives a reward for recycling. Inconvenient, however, are the stickers. They are available at local grocery stores and maybe city hall. Last week, I went to Tops (thinking it would be less crowded than Wegmans) to pick up some stickers. When I walked into the store, a woman was pedaling off on an adult-sized tricycle. "Wow, that's cool," I thought. "I want one!"

I have a very long wish list for the imaginary, fanciful "time when we have extra money." So far, on this list is: 1) a Wii with a Wii fit, 2) a rowing machine, 3) a scooter and 4) a new desk set for my office. And now, an adult tricycle. Today's "Ask Umbra" column on discusses these strange beasts, although Umbra outlines safety and pracitical issues arising from the three-wheelers. I do have a reasonably good bike, but I am scared to ride it. I didn't learn how to ride a bike until I was quite old in the scheme of things (9 or 10). Also, I don't have a lot of coordination or stamina, so I would be likely to hurt myself, and I certainly can't make it up the hill to our house (though the three-seater wouldn't solve that problem). Looking on George's bicycle map of Ithaca, I saw that the hill's grade is greater than 8%.

Of course, this is all moot since there will never be a time when we have extra money for my extras!


  1. Aimee,
    I stumbled across your blog(s) by way of sustainability in your profile. Nice place.
    I serve on my local government's environment commission, and provide the city council with advice on waste management from time to time. Your post is intriguing. I first heard about waste stamps as an undergrad in the 90s, but I haven't seen or much since then. How much do your stamps cost? And, has your locale experienced any problems with people sneaking trash into the free recycling bins?

  2. Thank you for stumbling upon my blog and reading the post about Ithaca's waste services! Our stamps are $24 for 6 35 pound stickers and I think $16 for 6 of the 1/2 barrel. I don't know about the problem of trash in the recycling bins, but I will ask around and find out.

  3. I'm starting to believe i need a wii so i can do exercise in my room because southern california is pretty crappy where i live. it is dangerous to go to the park alone and it is busy, i hate driving to go to the park, but then i hate walking in the busy streets to get to the park.

    so i am all for that wii now

  4. Check out classified ads and garage sales for your rowing machine. So many people buy exercise equipment and never use it that they get nothing resale for the stuff, and it really is good as new. I had an ex sell his entire free weight set for $5 - to a recycler!

  5. We moved to Oregon from Loveland, CO where we had been buying stamps for our trash since the early 90s. It is odd to "mail" your bags to the dump but it did help increase the recycling. They also offered special trash bags so we didn't have to buy the stamps and bags separate.

    As for your wish list, they all sound fun and I hope you are able to get at least one of them soon. The Wii is mighty fun!


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