The recycling bandit strikes again

Blue recycling bin

The beastly blue bin

The New Year started with a reappearance of the recycling bandit.

My apartment building has one recycling bin for six units and on occasion it gets really full, especially around the holidays when people are receiving tons of packages in the mail. But this shouldn’t be a big deal because the City of Los Angeles has a backup plan for these types of situations. (In fact, the City of Los Angeles has the largest curbside recycling program in the country, they can easily handle a few extra holiday boxes.)

Residents are asked to break down big boxes and leave them next to the blue bin and when that fails to leave enough space, residents are asked to place extra items in a bag next to the bin and the recycling team will pick them up.

Last year my husband and I diligently broke down the largest boxes and left some of the smaller ones intact next to the blue bin on a Sunday morning (Have you ever noticed how hard it is to grab a broken-down box? Hence the reason we left the smaller ones as is). On Monday afternoon, we discovered that someone had put all the boxes in the trash! We were so annoyed.

We had tons of theories, but the biggest suspect was an unknown majorly anal neighbor who just couldn’t stand to see boxes sitting out, even for 24 hours until the recycling team shows up on Monday morning. We dubbed this mysterious person…the recycling bandit.

After the box incident, we never left anything next to the bin until Monday morning right before pick up, even if that meant papers and boxes were piling up in our apartment. And for the most part, this strategy seemed to work, until this holiday season when the recycling bandit struck again!

This time we left a paper bag full of recycling odds and ends in front of the blue bin early on a Monday morning and we found that paper bag in the trash late Monday morning. It hadn’t gotten dirty or anything, so I fished it out of the trash and threw it in the now empty blue bin. Victory!

But the mystery remains…who is the recycling bandit? Is it an anal neighbor or is it actually a member of the recycling team? I really hope it’s not the latter. If only we had a recycling cam, then we could get to the bottom of this ongoing mini recycling drama.


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