Friday, August 15, 2014

The (Unspoken) Rules of Large Trash Pick-Up Day

I have guilt.  I feel guilty every time I throw away a piece of trash that I know will be loaded up in to my large trash can, then dumped in to a larger trash compactor, to finally end up in a huge landfill.  My guilt has led me to recycle, but living in Bryan, you can only recycle #1 and #2 items.  What about all the #5's??  That drives me crazy for some reason.

 I buy large containers of applesauce instead of individual containers.

We have been composting for the past 6 months.  It was absolutely amazing how much food items we were throwing away.  Of course, I avoid composting meat, milk products or anything fatty (mainly grease).

But none of this guilt compares to the HUGE guilt of Large Trash Pick-Up Day

It is one day a week (Friday) where we can put anything by our curb and they will come pick it up. The rules are different for different places.  My parents in Austin have it every two weeks, and they won't pick up huge items, like couches.  Of course, they don't pick up anything toxic, like tires or paint.  We have a Toxic Recycling Day twice a year to recycle those items when needed.

Driving around the neighborhoods on Fridays, you will see TV's, couches, mattresses, washer and dryers, moldy things, broken things...the list could go on forever.  And all of these things will end up in a landfill, being buried in our Earth.  Sort of makes me sad when I think about it too much.

BUT...There is a silver lining!!

There are many people (myself included sometimes) who drive around and collect these items to be re-used, re-purposed, or recycled.  I found a brand-new stainless steel trash bin one time.  Just sitting there on the curb one time.  So shiny and new.  I left it there, thinking it must be a horrible mistake, because who would want to throw away such a nice looking trash can?  I have friends who found a washer and dryer (still working) on the curb, dressers, toys from garage sales that didn't get sold.

So, last night (Thursday) I dragged items to my curb.  The old owners had left a plethora of things just shoved in to a corner of the back yard.  So, 6 months later I decided to finally get rid of the items.  There were pots, pot stands, some old chicken wiring, netting and an old bouncy chair that the baby had grown out of.

I went to bed crossing my fingers, hoping that most of it would be gone by morning.

And it was!!

I spied my front curb loading the kids up in to the car, and what to my wondering eyes did appear?  An empty curb!  They had taken all the pots, pot stands, bouncy chair, metal items but had left the netting.  The pile had considerably shrunk.

And with my pile shrinking, so did my guilt.

That is of course until next Friday...