Garbage In, Garbage Out

The sign greeted us at the front gates of the dump:  Beware Of The Bears; They Can Be Unpredictable.
The trip to a small town landfill and recycling site was a big eye opener for me.
There was no garbage pickup at a friend’s cottage in Minden.
Everyone had to take their own garbage, and recycling, to the local dump.
I went along for the ride – eager to see the bears.
That’s right, bears.
So anyone dumping off their garbage and recycling was literally taking their lives in their hands.
Well, not really.
The bears apparently only show up at dusk.
We were there during daylight hours, and there were several workers at the dump to help us navigate the various stations.
I was a little disappointed.
I had actually wanted to see a bear.
We drove to the glass recycling station, and dropped off some bottles.
We drove to the plastics area, and dropped off some plastics.
We then drove to the paper recycling station, and dropped off some cardboard and paper.
We drove to the actual garbage area, and dropped off some garbage bags.
It was all so very well organized and streamlined, and the staff was so helpful and friendly.
And I thought, everyone should have to dispose of their garbage and recycling this way.
It is a huge eye opener.  To actually see where your garbage goes.
To have to physically take it to be disposed of.
I bet we would all generate a lot less garbage!
And it is safe to say that I am now obsessed with garbage.
We recently moved into the city where the garbage is only picked up once every two weeks.
At first I thought, how is anyone supposed to only be able to generate such little garbage as to have it picked up every two weeks!
So we started composting.
We now have a little green bin under the sink where everything organic goes.
Bones.  Fruit rinds.  Vegetable ends.  Napkins.  Egg shells.  Cat hair.
You get the picture.
At first I thought it was disgusting.  Smelly.  Un-doable.
But now, several months later, I LOVE it!
I pride myself in having to decide, where does this piece of waste go?
Does it go in the paper recycling bin?
Does it go in the plastics and glass recycling bin?
Does it go in the composter?
Can it be put out as yard waste?
Can it indeed go in the garbage?
I have become something of a self-professed garbage junkie.
I almost look forward to having something to dispose of, so I can put it anywhere else but in the garbage!
We take it so for granted that we can put our garbage at the end of the driveway, and someone will come and take it away for us.
What a privilege!
And now, nearly a year after moving to the city where we have our garbage picked up every other week, we are coping just fine.
Our recycling and compost is picked up every week, and so we take full advantage of that.
And it is amazing how much more mindful one is of the waste they generate when it is so sparingly hauled away.
Yes, we have had to put out the occasional extra bag, at a cost of a $3 bag tag.
The cost of garbage.
The privilege of garbage pickup.
It has opened my eyes.
And I am glad for it.


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