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Green Tuesday has come a bit early here at Bikecommuters.com…I was going to wait to publish this, but I just can’t stand the suspense!

Now that my child is back in school, I’ve got a little bit of daylight “free time” on my hands. Sometimes I go for a long bike ride, and sometimes I like to just cruise around the neighborhoods at an easy pace.

During my commutes and other bike rides, I’ve become painfully aware of the overwhelming litter issue on and around the streets of Tampa. What particularly catches my eye are all the recycleable items — bottles of plastic and glass, cans of both steel and aluminum.

Well, I got an idea about a month ago — why not combine these neighborhood “joyrides” with some community improvement? Xtracycle to the rescue!

By pulling the bag straps all the way out to their full length, I was able to strap two standard City of Tampa blue recycling bins to the Xtra:

Recycletron 1000

I call this assembly “Recycletron 1000″ — it makes the bike really wide, so I can’t “thread the needle” as much as I’m used to. No matter…the streets I hit were quiet and low-traffic, and I was careful to give myself extra clearance to either side.

I wonder if Xtracycle had thought of such a use, because I discovered as I strapped the bins on, the molded corner slots on the bin mated perfectly with the front and rear FreeLoader straps. Once everything was cinched up, this assembly was rock-solid!

corner slots

I spent about an hour of stop-n-go riding around the southern part of our neighborhood district…all told, less than 3 miles or so. In that time, I nearly filled both bins, and I’m sure I didn’t spot every recycleable item! There’s a practical limit, bulk-wise…if the bins are “too” full, items tend to jump out over bumps. I determined that the practical load limit is about 3/4 full. Weight was not an issue whatsoever…the full load in both bins weighed about 40 lbs.

The motherload:
motherload

Look, it’s like this: if you want to improve your community, you’ve got to be willing to get out there and get your hands dirty. I derived IMMENSE satisfaction of making a small difference in my community, and I am looking forward to the next run. The city is so littered that I could cover some serious miles every day and not get all the recycleables, but dang it, I’m gonna try!!!

I’d like to say a special “thank you” to Mayor Pam Iorio’s office and the City of Tampa Solid Waste/Recycling department for helping me get extra bins. I promise I’ll put them to good use!