#AllenHashtagAlong Talks Trash

Leave the "yo mama" jokes at home. We're engaging in some serious trash talk with the folks responsible with removing the city's waste during this #AllenHashtagAlong.

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  1. "Taking out the trash" is nobody's favorite chore. But what if you had to do it for nearly 100,000 people each week? I'm Chelsey Aprill, marketing specialist for the City of Allen, and I'm about to take you inside the World of Waste. Buckle up!
  2. CWD is Allen's trash and recycling contractor. I hopped aboard the truck at promptly 7 a.m. That's when crews hit the road each morning. It's also the deadline for bringing all waste to the curb.
  3. Alejandro Muro has been driving trash trucks for CWD for more than a decade. Even in this giant truck, he navigates narrow alleys with ease.
  4. The City of Allen has several rules about how to position trash bins. You're supposed to leave 2 feet of space around your cart so that the control arm doesn't hit your fence, gas line or cable box.
  5. Technically, Muro could have skipped this house for not following the rules. But Muro is a nice guy.
  6. Muro jumped out of the truck countless times to nudge cans away from cars, gas lines and each other. But when the same house breaks the guidelines again and again, he leaves these orange tags as a reminder to follow the rules.
  7. I was surprised by how violently the trucks rattled when the control arm was in operation! (Trash collection is not for the weak-stomached.)
  8. After an hour with Muro it was time to swap trucks. We met up with Christopher, who was collecting recycling from a newer Allen neighborhood.
  9. Lots of homes have been built around here in the past few years. In January, the City re-mapped recycling routes to help balance the demand. Before the change, Christopher's 8-hour day might stretch to 10 or 12.
  10. Just like Muro, Christopher and I encountered a lot of residents who are unfamiliar with Allen's Trash and Recycling Guidelines. These are some of the most common problems:
  11. (Sidenote: large, empty, flattened cardboard boxes can be tied together with biodegradable twine and picked up as compost. Remember this the next time you buy a refrigerator or flat-screen TV.)
  12. I asked Christopher to name the best thing about his job. "Working alone!" he said immediately. (He assured me I should not take this personally.) Then I asked him the worst thing about his job. He thought for a while before musing, "I don't think there is one."
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