Friday, April 22, 2005

Blue Carts: Why so blue?

The wheeled carts are blue. Very blue. Eye-catchingly blue. Extremely blue, for some of you. Couldn't we have picked a more subtle color?!

The choice of blue for the carts is in keeping with the color widely associated with recycling of cans, bottles, jars, and paper. The color is as much a signal for collection crews of what is inside as it is to container users.

The darker colors -- brown, green, and black -- are typically used for trash cans. When used as a signal for collection purposes, green may indicate yard trim. Similarly, brown may be associated with organics collection.

These signals make collections more efficient. Instead of having to stop to peer into every single can at the curb, crews are able to focus only on the containers set out for the material for which they are responsible. The recycling crew is on the lookout for blue carts. Trash crews, on the other hand, know to pass those carts by.

One cart recipient carefully painted the cart green. It was a good paint job. It was so good, in fact, that the recycling crew would have passed it by, leaving the household to wonder why its paper was not collected that week. The unsuspecting recycling crew, on the other hand, would have thought nothing of leaving the paper-cart-posing-as-a-trash-can unemptied.

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