by H. Vaz
How much thought do you put into garbage?
|Often I have heard people complain about the way the garbage collection system works. The main complaints are that they can't remember which days to put the garbage out, they don't know what type of garbage goes out when, the garbage collectors come too early in the morning, and that the garbage is collected only twice a week. My opinion is that people must not realize this is a luxury and how much that our culture depends on collection.
I grew up in rural Virginia a few decades ago. Things in the country are not the same as in the suburbs and urban locations. There are many support systems that are just not in place. One thing that may seem very a very basic service to most people is trash collection. I'm sure if you transported some sububanites to a rural area they would have a hard time fiquring out what to do with their trash.
This is the way we did things when I was growing up. We collected our trash in those large black lawn trash bags-no little white kitchen bags would do. Sometimes to lighten the load we would burn some trash in a pile outdoors or in the winter, throw it into the wood stove. We would save up several bags of this old garbage, would load it into the car and take it for a drive. As you may know, garbage stinks, so it was a direct drive about 10 minutes down our little road. There, the county had set up a mini dump. There were three large dumpsters which always seemed full. I guess a truck would come empty them, but I don't ever remember seeing that happen.
Beside the last dumpster there was a well known, but unmarked, donation pile. This would have old clothes, toys, bikes, or whatever the dumpee saw as still fit for consumption. We did put a lot of old clothes there, but we also would take from time to time.
When it was all said and done, to get rid of the garbage was a 30 to 45 minute ordeal. So, now, on the mornings that I know that my trash will be taken away by my hero that is also a stranger, I feel grateful.