Before I did our ~quarterly haul to the recycling drop-off today, I double-checked the “accepted materials” list online.
I skimmed the list, past cardboard, cans, and saw that “all plastic bottles” made the list, but NO other plastics were on there! I even called the number to ask a real person and that real person was really sure I had to send all my carefully saved non-bottle plastics to the landfill. I don’t know when the policy changed or why… maybe we’d always been doing it wrong?
Seems silly that a #2 plastic bottle is ok, but my #2 plastic raspberry clamshell is verboten. But, I dutifully loaded up my car with paper, cardboard, bottles, and cans:
The contraband got set aside to toss in
my garbage can landfill. Hummus and guacamole containers, berry and grape clamshells … all verboten.
Before I could put it in the can, however, I had to make a mad dash across the street with a two-ton garbage can, losing both sandals on the way and nearly losing hope when I beached the can on a curb halfway to my destination.
Let me explain.
Our apartment management provides an obscenely large garbage can and we don’t generate much trash so we only end up take it out every couple of months.
I always forget which day is garbage day because it’s moving target: holidays and the phase of the moon apparently throw things off. Furthermore, our management is crazy about cans on the street on the wrong day, and they’ll actually bill you $20 if you leave your can out an extra day. I know.
So, yes, I’m totally paranoid about getting it wrong, and I put it off probably longer than I should.
To make things worse, when that can gets full, it’s a desperate situation. We recycle everything bulky so it’s packed tight almost entirely with full diapers and bits of rotten vegetables (what’s that? You want to smell our garbage can?).
Anyway, I thought I had missed the garbage collection today because it tends to happen way early in the morning. But around 11am as I was hauling recycling, I heard the truck rumbling down the street. I allowed myself to hope for a brief minute, but then saw the truck passed right by our house and I was sure they’d already been down our street.
A few minutes later, though, they came back and started down the line dumping cans right where our can should have been! Reality set in as I judged their speed and the location of the cans. I could never make it in time. I watched dejectedly as the truck made its way to the end of the street… and turned around and came back down the other side! That was my chance!
Off I dashed, clomping along in my sandals, heaving that can up and over bumps. I lost one shoe in the mud and then another, but I was not going to be deterred. Next Thursday was Thanksgiving so no trash pick up. It was do or die today.
When I got to the curb, it took five tries of pushing and pulling and (I’ll admit) some grunting before I got it over and then I crossed the street at a dead sprint, directly in front of the garbage truck. Flashing a big smile (hey, it can’t hurt!) I lined up the can with the ones that belonged on that side and nonchalantly retreated back to my side of the street to see if they’d take my trash.
Just a minute later, it was all over. I was collecting my empty can and savoring the sweet smell of… scratch that, the can has permastench. Breathe through your mouth, Anne.
I’m sure I gave the driver a laugh as I raced across the street breathless and shoeless with my enormous garbage can. I’ll bet garbage men come home with lots of stories to tell. 😀