The new recycling carts in Portland make sense for families that generate a lot of material for recycling and have a garage or other convenient place to store them near the street.

But for users like us, who generate little recycling and do not have a storage place near the street, they are simply not a practical way to recycle.

We typically have just enough recycling each week to fill one of the small bins that we purchased from the Department of Public Works when we first arrived in Portland 10 years ago. And we do not have a garage.

The only available place for us to store the new, wheeled container is in a storage shed at some distance behind our house. Removing snow from the path to the shed is no small effort. Even if we could get the new recycling cart to the street after a heavy snowfall, it would pose an obstacle to the snow plows.

It would make much more sense for us to simply continue doing what has worked so well for the past decade: putting out our old recycling bin next to the street on our appointed pickup day. And at times of heavy snowfall, placing our recycling bin in a visible and accessible place on the snowbank next to the road.

For the many Portland residents who face similar constraints in using the new wheeled carts, I ask that the city allow continued use of the smaller recycling bins that have served us well for the past decade.

As for me, I would be happy to return our unused recycling cart, thereby saving the city a few dollars in the cost of purchasing them.

Michael Mertaugh