Let me start by proclaiming that I love my husband of 35 years dearly so when I bash him it’s understood that I do so most lovingly.
I am the garbage Nazi, and he…….is a garbage delinquent!
Recycling is very important to me. I rinse my containers, collapse my corrugated cardboard, compost food scraps, and separate all paper, glass, metal and plastic. I have bins for every type of refuse. In short, I am a responsible garbage citizen.
So it baffles me when my husband asks (DAILY) ‘which bin does this go in?”, or when he salts the driveway after shoveling and I find the plastic salt bags in the composter. Sweet fancy Moses man, this is simple stuff! (clearly I’m not nagging enough!)
I walk every day through my neighbourhood, for fresh air, and occasionally (ok, garbage day) I take note of what people put out and I’m blown away by the amount of ‘garbage’ from each household. Our garbage is picked up every 2 weeks and compost is the same time frame but on opposite weeks. I raised 3 children and had a dog (lots of poop) but I still only put out 1 bag of garbage per pick up. I usually had minimum 2 bags of recycling, weekly, and the compost bin was always in use – this was a family of 5 (plus the pooping dog) So what is in those 4 and 5 bags of ‘garbage’ coming from these households with few or no children?
And how is it some people just literally toss their trash onto the curb; no bags, no ties, just tossed. And when it’s not picked up they just leave it for several weeks assuming it will eventually disappear. (fyi, your neighbours hate you)
Now I realize garbage has become something of a chore. The rules have indeed tightened and the garbage men have developed airs – it’s like they’re picky about what they will or won’t take, depending on their mood. Recycling is in a blue bag. Garbage in black. Plastic in clear. Boxboard is collapsed and tied together, and if you God forbid, put anything in the wrong bag or wrong colour, you get a big orange sticker that clearly tells the world what you did wrong. The order of your garbage matters too. If the recycling truck is first to arrive and your blue bag is not in front of the rest, they’ll drive right by, as though they can’t see it. (perhaps if we gift wrapped it?)
There is also a limit as to how much garbage you can put out each pick up. I found that out when I tossed out 4 rooms of carpet, neatly bundled to meet garbage standards, but they would pick up only 6 biweekly, which meant my carpeting would’ve sat at the curb for 21/2 months (I don’t think so) The night before my next pick up I went out and redistributed all my garbage to my neighbours so each household had just the right number, and of course all was picked up, which got me to thinking. These guys had to notice that the same bundles of carpet were in front of 4 houses.
If they’d bother to look around when they come to a home with more than the allowable amount they’d note that neighbouring homes are well under the household limit – all they have to do is look up. Wouldn’t logic tell them to just pick up the garbage because the collective total is well within limits? Apparently not. (I guess rational thinking is not on their mandate)
Last December I put out 15 bags of leaves for compost pick up and I was stunned to find a big orange sticker on my bags that stated they were rejected because the contents were frozen – seriously? It’s December, in Canada,,,,,what isn’t frozen? And how are they any less compostable when frozen? (I think what we have here is one lazy garbage man……but he’s messing with the wrong woman) I called our regional waste management office to complain (several times) and they tried any number of excuses to justify the lack of pick up but I persisted,,,,,and persisted,,,,,,and persisted,,,,,,and the next day a special truck was sent out to take my leaves. (course now when they pick up my garbage they toss my trash can into the ditch so I have to crawl down and fish it out – guess that’s the price I pay for being a responsible garbage citizen!)
I get that the worlds’ trash is becoming a serious problem, and I grudgingly acknowledge that the rules and limits are in place to deal with that, but I’m not the offender you need to discipline. (My husband on the other hand is probably guilty of committing a garbage offence at least 3 times a day) All I ask is that our trash collectors exercise some common sense. Discipline those who really warrant it and trust that the rest of us are playing by the rules. Correct us when we are legitimately in the wrong, not when you feel like it.
How about creating a mandatory training course for repeat offenders; kind of an ‘Idiots Guide to Garbage’ . (I’ll personally register my husband) In the interim, let’s work together to enforce the rules because we all have a vested interest in keeping our world clean, and I’ll keep working on my husband because………… I am the garbage Nazi!