I got an e-mail about this the other day. Has anyone seen one of these bags?

If you’re walking or driving in Louisville and you see a plastic grocery bag hanging from a lightpost, it’s probably the work of Stu Noland. For the past month or so, Noland has been hanging bags from poles in his neighborhood and marking them with signs bearing the three-arrow recycling logo, hoping that passersby will use them.

“On my daily dog walks I pick up all the litter in the downtown part of Phoenix Hill/Butchertown,” says Noland. “I don’t really mind doing this but I hate carrying trash with me for blocks where there are no trash cans. I call these areas trash can deserts.”

Noland says most of what he was picking up was recylcing, so he started hanging bags. He empties them when they fill up and drops the recyclables off. He’s planning to expand the operation soon and put up more than 40 of the homebrew stations in his neighborhood.

Now, this isn’t an official Metro Government recycling program, and when I first heard the story, I couldn’t imagine that the bags would stay hanging for very long. Noland says he has run into problems.

“People seem to remove the bags occasionally, for example city workers when hanging Thunder signs even though it wasn’t in the way,” he says. “The people at the BBC tap room ripped the sign off the pole, I have had some positive response but I think some people’s initial reaction is that the bag is ugly hanging from the pole. I would say what’s uglier, a recycling station or trash on the ground?”

What are your thoughts? Do you ever put your recyclables in other peoples’ bins? Would you put your cans in one of Noland’s receptacles?

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