A recent garbage bill included an enclosure called Monterey County Recycler - Fall 2011 Newsletter providing useful tips and helpful hints about Waste Management's curbside recycling programs.
One section of the flyer stated that "On April 16, 2011, the Monterey Herald printed a story about recycling in Monterey County that included some incorrect and possibly unclear information about recycling for waste management customers."
I remember that article. I specifically remember reading that Waste Management was providing curbside recycling of household batteries in all Monterey Peninsula cities served by WM - which means every city except Monterey. All one had to do was place the batteries in a plastic bag and tape it to the lid of the recycling bin where the truck drivers could easily grab it. Great, I thought, no more hauling them to a recycling station. Then I remembered seeing a bag of batteries on a neighbor's bin during my daily walk a few days earlier, and realized that others knew about this even before the Herald reported it.
Now WM says the Herald got it wrong. The flyer states that "household battery pick-up is only offered in select areas of the unincorporated county as part of their new service package." Shoot. I still have to haul them to a collection center after all.
So the Herald must have screwed up again. Typical Herald stuff, right? WRONG!
My attitude towards any news report is trust but verify. After reading the article I went to Waste Management's website and looked up their recycling policy for Seaside just to be sure. Lo and behold, it said exactly what the Herald said. I found the same thing for other Peninsula cities as well. The Herald story was confirmed, I believed.
So, Waste Management, why are you faulting the Herald for repeating what was on your own website??? Take responsibility for misinforming not only the Herald, but also everyone else who visited your website, like me and my neighbor.
Last night I noticed that the Waste Management website has been completely redesigned since I last looked in April, and it no longer offers curbside recycling of batteries in local cities. The good news, if Waste Management is to be believed this time, is that they now recycle all kinds of plastics, not just those with "chasing arrow" number codes. They'll even take plastic toys. They also accept plastic bags for recycling, along with all sorts of "film" type plastics (such as bubble wrap and plastic wrap), provided they're bundled inside a plastic bag and not just thrown in your bin loose. That makes it easy for the sorters to set them aside. As of now, the only plastic they don't allow is styrofoam.