Prof. Wagstaff wrote:<SNIP>
See, the recycle bin gets picked up, emptied and when it is replaced on my lawn, the lid is closed.
The garbage can, on the other hand, is left open after the dumping, thereby allowing the water in.
And as I said, this was true for every can on my block.
Being the engineer geek that I am, I happened to be home recently and watched the garbage & recycling vehicles in operation (mostly wanted to verify that we were indeed separating the bins far enough apart, but I digress).
The garbage truck came first and I watched it all the way down the one side of street. Yup, every bin indeed was reset WITH THE LID OPEN (except ours, which toppled over due to our unique landscaping, but I digress).
When the recycling truck came by soon afterwards, MOST of the bins were reset WITH THE LIDS CLOSED! (Yes, ours just flopped over again, sigh).
Here's the details I noticed (did I mention I'm an engineer?):
The trucks indeed appear similar, but the arm-grabbing mechanisms are very different. The garbage truck's grabber moves in stuttery right-angle motions although it appears to have longer reach and can maneouver into tighter spots. When I watched this thing jerk when it was resetting the bins, there appeared no possible way the lids were ever going to close. In contrast, the recycling truck's grabber moves in a more arc-like motion and this motion seemed to help swing the lid closed as the bin was being reset.
I'll pass this along to Mr. Dreckman (sorry if I've mispelled your name, George).
There might be a trick to getting the lids closed and maybe the operators just need to practice/play with the grabbers (it's called training).