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West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Just a bunch of garbage

City services, Things that bug me

What I have to say here is just a bunch of garbage…literally. I think we have it pretty good here in Tosa, where garbage is concerned. We have convenient and reliable garbage pickup.

But what I’ve found lately is that you have to really be on the ball…or the cart…in order to get optimum pickup.

For instance, our “new” recycling program, featuring bumblebee-colored recycling carts, has been in operation for a little over a year now. From my point of view, I’d say it works fairly well. I only have two minor complaints: The first is that it’s imperative that you get your recycling cart out on the street early. In our neighborhood, the recycling truck comes pretty darn early – sometimes 8:00 or 9:00 am. That’s fine, but judging by the number of full carts I see on the streets mid-day on garbage day, some people still haven’t figured that out. I still remember watching a neighbor run down the street wheeling his recycling cart to catch up with the recycling truck. Funny for me. Annoying for him.

Secondly, I can’t help it – I miss weekly recycling. Since it’s every other week, and since more plastics than ever are recycled, my black and yellow cart is pretty darn full on recycling day. In fact, some weeks, I can’t fit everything in it, which means that it’s working, but sometimes means that I have leftover recycling that has to wait two weeks. (Yes, I know, I could drive it over to the dump, but that would require far more effort than I’m willing to put forth.)

As far as the regular garbage is concerned, I only have two tiny complaints: The first is that I wish our garbage carts weren’t so appetizing to backyard critters. I’m not sure if they’re manufactured with peanut butter or something, but the squirrels and raccoons seem to LOVE to gnaw on the corners and, inevitably, squeeze in and snack on my garbage. Ick. (And yes, my carts have been “repaired” but apparently the aluminum strips and silver tape are just as yummy.)

My second garbage complaint is so small that I wouldn’t blame the guys on the truck if they thumbed their noses at me on the next pick up day. Here it is: Just once, I’d love it if my garbage cart didn’t end up dead center at the end of my driveway after the garbage has been collected. It’s a minor irritation, but an irritation nonetheless. Sometimes I have to park the car, get out, move the cart and then drive into the driveway. It’s almost as if they’re mad at me about my garbage. And if they are, sorry! I put the cart away from the end of the driveway, but it never ends up there.

Oh well. If that’s my biggest problem, then life is pretty good.

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