Thursday, April 03, 2008

Trash Collecting

S always brings her empty Zip-Loc lunch bags home from school. In camping parlance, she packs out what she packed in. We’ve never camped. I know that some people will want to believe that S is interested in recycling. That she’d like to see these plastic baggies re-used again and again, never adding to the non-biodegradable detritus clogging up Mother Nature’s arteries.

S does not care.

She puts those empty bags back in her lunchbox because 1) she doesn’t want to walk to the garbage can at school, and 2) she’s afraid the universe may come to a screeching halt and we will run out of garbage at home.

We will not.

I throw these empty Zip-Locs in the garbage because the idea of putting a new meat sandwich into what once held an older meat sandwich makes me want to throw up. The question is what to do with all the garbage? Or rather, with the recyclables. Such a nice word, recyclable. It’s not trash, it’s recyclable. And we do recycle, we have a curbside bin provided by the city and I fill it up every week. The problem is that there is still trash, er, recyclables, to be put in there because The Quartet ingests copious amounts of milk, gingerale and Chef Boyardee. So the left-over trash – I’ve just now decided to call it what it is, trash – piles up. In my home.

I know we can call the city and request an extra curbside bin. We had two at one time, but the extra … disappeared. It was recycled, I imagine. I hope. I have to believe that at some point the trash collector assumes that two bins is a mistake, and an egregious paperwork error has occurred somewhere in the chain of command, and liberates one of them. And I’m left, again, with a pile of trash in my house.

Kristy and I disagree on immediate solutions. She says we should take our neighbor’s bin since he just moved out of town and the house is vacant; let recycling logistics be the home buyer’s dilemma. I say fill up the recycle bin with the appropriate garbage and dump the rest in the big, green can.

We are at an impasse. But, I’m the one taking the garbage out.