Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Trashy Post

Now Playing -  Nighthawks by Motion Pictures

Life -  
 Trash in the East is an interesting thing. Back home, every week, you'd take your bags of garbage to the curb, a couple of burly men would pull up in a truck and take them away. That was pretty much the extent of the experience. Eventually, the towns bought a pile of big green or blue plastic containers and instead of bags, you'd fill those up, roll them on hollow sounding wheels down to the curb, a robotic arm would empty it and you'd roll it back up the driveway.

Easy Peasy. It was a bit of a pain in the winter, when you had to drag the sometimes heavy barrel across the permafrost of Idaho winters, but nothing incredibly difficult.

Out here it's quite different. There's a few exceptions, but here in Topsham at least, if I want to throw away a bag of trash, I have to go to the Hannafords (A grocery store) buy a special bag to put my trash in for $1 or $2 depending on the size I want. Then I take these magic bags to the dump to dispose of them. If I have something too large for the bags, I can buy tickets or some nonsense depending on the size. I can't vouch for whether anyone actually does this, I think it's possible they just leave the items on the side of the road with the words "Free - Take Me" written on a box or they bury them in the woods. Maybe an at sea burial.

It also appears that if you were to buy nicer bags - the city bags are not very sturdy or tear-proof - you can take your store bought bags to the dump and hand them over, along with a neatly folded, unused city bag as a kind of currency. But you cannot just give the guy a couple of bucks. Hmm.

Additionally, in Idaho, if you wanted a dumpster for larger items, you call up the city. For $50 or so, they drop off a dumpster and each time you want it emptied, the truck swings by and dumps it and like the weekly pickup a charge appears on your monthly bill. Out here, you have to call a private company. The one we called would have cost us over $300 for one single drop off and dump.

Now, I know space is at a greater premium and the state is part of a large recycling initiative (We don't have recycling pickup at my house either, I should note) but man is that a lot of hassle to get rid of a bag of cat litter, coffee grounds and sugar snap pea packages.

What about where you live? How do you get rid of your junk?



Austin James said...

I try and avoid collecting junk, which isn't too hard because I hate shopping.

And I try and buy stuff that I can recycle... Vancouver has an excellent and easy to use recycling program, so I don't feel so bad about throwing garbage out.

Steve at Random said...

We put it in a plastic bag in our house and Grandpa takes the bag out to the garbage cans every morning. If we have something large, we borrow a pickup and take it out to the dump. It generally costs me a dollar or two to dump junked computer, an old chair or broken what-a-ma-call-it at the dump. The city buries and life goes on. Eventually, the city will sell the landfill and something will be built on top of it, such as a federal building, a high school or a church. We've got important things to do in the West than buy a special bag to get rid of kitty litter.

randymeiss said...

In the county, we have the big plastic containers with hollow-sounding wheels. Occasionally we fill it up and have to pile stuff off to the side but they've been good about picking that up as well.

I can't imagine living somewhere with no trash pick-up service. Ick!

Kris said...

Austin - Good call on the no junk policy - We're trying to do that, but I have a hard time with it, I seem to think that I have to have or save every little piece of paperwork or packaging that might be important

Kris said...

Steve - your comment is awesome! It reminds me of the west as much as anything, and I mean that in a good way.

Kris said...

Randy - It really is ick! We have three bags of trash chilling on the porch right now, waiting for us to justify a trip to the dump with our magic city bags... it's kind of ridiculous.