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Help combat Distracted Drop-Off Syndrome

CSWD staff standing in the doorway at the Richmond Drop-Off Center
Amy & George at the Richmond Drop-Off Center

Your dog probably looks forward to a Saturday run to the local CSWD Drop-Off Center more than you do.

Sure, you get to say howdy to your neighbors and check off trash, recycling, reusables, and food scraps from your to-do list.

But your dog gets a treat, and that’s the coolest thing of the day in doggy-world.

With all that human and canine excitement, it’s way too easy to get distracted in those busy Drop-Off Centers—and that’s when safety can take a hit.

“There’s a LOT of traffic,” says Amy McVey, Richmond Drop-Off Center Operator. “Safety is a priority for us, and every day we’re bustling with vehicles and people walking around with loads of materials. Accidents happen when people stop paying attention to what they’re doing.”

“Accidents happen when people stop paying attention to what they’re doing.”

– Amy McVey, Richmond DOC

Follow Amy’s Rules of the Load and you and your dog—and your neighbors—will have a much smoother experience.

Amy’s Rules of the Load

Don’t use your cell phone.

Besides distracted driving, cell phones contribute to the little-known but prevalent syndrome: Distracted Dumping. Trash gets tossed into recycling, and vice versa — and sometimes the cell phone or car keys go flying into the dumpster right along with the bag. If you TWW (Text While Walking), you could end up as a hood ornament on someone’s car because they were TWDing and didn’t see you. Besides, it’s state law to refrain from cell phone use while operating a vehicle AND while stationary in line. Also, for safety reasons, we often cannot retrieve your phone if you toss it by accident into the compactor or Dumpster.

Keep Fido and kids inside the vehicle.

These masters of distraction don’t even need cell phones to create instant chaos and endanger themselves.

Save your soles.

Shoes are mandatory. You’ve seen what people bring in…and drop on the ground.

Thanks for helping keep the Drop-Off Centers a safe, bustling, neighborly place to visit for you and Fido.

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Clare has lived in Tennessee, New Mexico, California, Virginia, Connecticut, Texas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and, for the past 10 years, Vermont. She can be found peering into recycling bins everywhere to see what works and is frequently quizzed about recycling and composting in random places when people find out where she works. She spends as much time as possible playing ukulele and roaming through Vermont’s spectacular mountains and forests.