“I know a man who doesn’t pay to have his trash taken out. How does he get rid of his trash? He gift wraps it, and puts in into an unlocked car.”

The rain started last night, and I woke up to a rainy morning. I heard it on the roof and I heard it dripping from the eaves, but the rain has since stopped leaving behind a dark, cloudy day. The dampness makes it feel colder than it actually is. I have a few errands on my list, but I’m thinking today is a good day to stay home and while the time away in a good book.

Gracie and I went to the dump yesterday, and it was as crowded as I’ve seen it in a long time. I was in a line of cars waiting for a spot near the newspaper recycle bin. The trash bins too had a line so Gracie stuck her head out the window to get a better view while I just sat in the car and waited. I watched the people as they went about dump business: emptying trunks and walking from recycle bin to recycle bin.

When I was a kid, we always had trash men who hung on to the backs of the trucks as they went from house to house. They’d hop off, grab the barrels, empty them then toss the barrels back on the sidewalks. When the back of the truck got filled, the trashman would grab a lever and the top of the bin would come down and compact the trash. I thought that was sort of neat, and it was definitely noisy. My father usually brought the barrels back to the yard when he’d get home from work.

When we moved to the cape, my father loved the dump runs every Sunday. If we had company, they were always invited to join him as if it were a lark, a fun ride. The dump back then was a real dump with huge piles of trash and seagulls circling above them. You could see the dump and its trash from the highway. The cans always shined in the sun. I know when my parents moved off-cape my dad must have missed his dump. Putting trash cans on the sidewalk just didn’t have the same allure.

When I was working, I always went to the dump on Sunday. It was, after all, a family tradition.

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13 Comments on ““I know a man who doesn’t pay to have his trash taken out. How does he get rid of his trash? He gift wraps it, and puts in into an unlocked car.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Today was sunny but cold and yesterday we had all kinds of weather all day.

    We still have those trash trucks coming, we can’t get out of it even if we want to. But there’s usually only one man driving and the truck picks up then trash cans by itself. I actually don’t know where our dump is 🙂 🙂 🙂 But we do have smaller recycling stations here and there. There’s one just in the neighborhood at work so I usually take all the recycling I have with me every now and again.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The sun finally came out in the afternoon. It is a nice day!

      My plants arrived todayw with a booklet about planting them. A few are packed in damp paper so they’ll last. I’ll have them planted this week.

      Some cities have those self-pick up trucks for bins, but most cape towns have no trash trucks. The dump is the best spot for politicians running for office to greet voters as the weekends are always busy.

  2. Birgit Says:

    I’m confused. You have to bring ALL your trash
    to a dumb station??? And if you don’t have a car
    (unlikely in the States 😉 ) you’re doomed?

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      There is private pick up of trash, but it is very expensive. The towns all have a dump instead. Dump stickers cost, in my town, $90.00 a year.

      The private companies do not recycle. All your trash is put together in barrels on the sidewalk. The dump has several bins for recycling everything from cans to cardboard. The trash bins are separate from the recycle bins.There is even a building for books and stuff you recycle so other people can take them.

      Most people choose the dump.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    I’ve never lived in a place where the residents had to drag their trash to a dump site. I find that pretty interesting. We have the trucks as you described, same loud noise when they pack it in to make more room. The city has started a robotic truck test where a special bin is left on the side of the road, arm facing the road, for the robotic hand to grasp it and throw it upside down to empty the contents. It’s rather humorous to watch because unlike a human throwing the bins back onto your lawn, this thing just drops it from a few feet and it either lands upright or on its’ side. They are testing it to lower employment as it showed in other States one driver can do the work of three men. Good bye Teamsters Union.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      We moved down in here in the 60’s so it was the dump even then.

      The only one I know who has trash pick-up is the house beside me which is a summer rental. The trash truck comes every Saturday as that is is leaving-moving in day. I hate if no one has the next week as the trash barrels stay at the end of the driveway for another week.

      I’ve seen those trucks work. They are a marvel, but I can see where only a driver would be necessary.

  4. Bill S. Says:

    Our dump sticker here in southern NH is $3.00/year. I don’t mind going to the dump, especially since I always see one or two of my fellow town residents/friends there, and we manage to chat and catch up. It’s one of the benefits of living in a small town. At our dump we recycle everything, and pre-sort at home by having different containers for different items.

    In a larger town or city, your taxes pay for street-side pickup, so you get what you pay for: a long line of dark blue trash containers and recycle bins on the same day on the same street. What’s even more attractive is when a big wind comes along and knocks the empty barrels every which way into the street and the yards.

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      We also recycle everything, even Christmas trees for the beaches, but it is one heck of a lot more expensive. We have no special bins so I have bags for the stuff I recycle. Usually I also run into someone I know. I taught or worked with so many over the years there are seldom places I go without finding someone I know.

      I don’t mind the dump except on windy days as it is so cold I can imagine what it must be like to be sent to a gulag. Every dog I have owned loved going to the dump. I swear 1 out of 2 cars has a dog haning out a window.

      My sister lives in Stoneham where I grew up before we moved to the cape. Their taxes used to take care of the trash trucks, but after Prop 2 and 1/2, the town made everyone pay extra for their trash pick-ups. I guess nothing much is free any more.

  5. Bob Says:

    Here we have two specially made plastic trash bins with two wheels in the back. Every Friday morning the garbage trucks come down the alley and they have a mechanical lift that raises the bins over the top of the truck and dumps the trash into the truck. One bin is gray for trash and the other one is blue for recyclables. Our recyclables are double the non recyclable trash. We also have a garbage disposer in the kitchen sink which liquefies food waste and sends it down the drain.

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In Mexico City there are about 100,000 people who live in the garbage dump and search for recyclables for a living. They live in cardboard huts and their children go to school in the land fill. Whenever, my conservative friends spout off that the government should only print money and raise an army, I tell them to drive down to Mexico City and see what happens when you live in a banana republic.

    Cloudy and warm tonight.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I have seen those automatic bin trucks and thought them fun to watch. Are there separate places on the truck for dumping each of the colored barrels?

      Tell your friends to drive to most large cities in developing countries. Trash dumps are popular living and scrounging areas. The worst are the dumps filled with computer parts.

      Our weather is chilly and raw after the rain. The sun was out but only for a short while.

      • Bob Says:

        I have never seen them pick up the trash. I think they have two separate trucks one for trash and one for the recyclables.

  6. Bill S. Says:

    I have to agree with Bob. In Luanda, Angola there is a massive trash dump, more than 20 acres right at the ocean, with locals picking through looking for valuable (to them) items, or even food. I stayed for one weekend at the Meridien Hotel in Luanda, and outside on the sidewalks were huge piles of uncollected trash and garbage. Some people know of no other way of life.

    When we lived in Tafo, we bought some whole fish, which we skinned and filleted for dinner. We cut off the heads and were about to toss them, when one of our Ghanaian neighbors asked if she could have them to make soup. As you know, very little gets wasted in Ghana–there is always someone interested in what we throw out.

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      It is so true about Ghanaians wasting little. I remember Thomas made his famous head and foot broth from the parts of the chicken we didn’t eat, and after Ghanaians eat, not even bones are left. I used to laugh when I’d get my rice wrapped in the New Yrok Times which Thomas used to sell for himself when I’d finish reading it. My sandals lasted a long tire with tire tread bottoms. That was when I learned to make do which is something I’ve forgotten.


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