Monday, May 9, 2011

Keep Yer Grubby Mitts Outta My Trash

Ah, the garbage ritual on my street. I've touched on it before. The dance of the trucks... it's quite magical, actually. Watching the ebb and flow and organization of it all...

Were we thinner then?
My street is lined with fairly sizable apartment complexes. Each building has two or more giant dumpster bins. We all have gated garages; the garbage trucks of course do not go in there. The bins have to come out. That's where this almost-insect-like ballet of cooperation begins. First, the Little Red Trucks come around. They zip into the gated garages and bring out the bins to leave them there on the street for the Big Trucks. BUT WAIT! Before the Big Trucks can come lumbering down the street... here are the Little White Trucks. What are these? These are trucks with little men in them who park their trucks and jump right into the dumpsters to go through them to salvage anything that might be worth anything.

I LOVE these guys. The back of their trucks are full of trash/treasure. Others look down on them and think it's disgusting that they do this; I admire them. I'll say it (cuz it's my blog, after all), they are of a majority Mexican. You know, because we sure couldn't expect "real" Americans to get all dirty like that, right? Gross. Climbing in a dumpster? Should be ashamed. Nope, I think they are awesome. They are pulling stuff out of there that would likely end up in the landfills, and they are DOING something with it. Reselling it for scrap... it will be recycled/re-used/re-purposed. Energy will be saved. Resources will be saved. I love these guys. Finally the Big Trucks come by, and the ritual is concluded for our street.

Which brings to mind an anecdote... we were wandering a lovely farmers' market on Sunday, and they had helpful nice local policemen there to answer community questions. Nice community close to the ocean... nice people. Over comes this nice resident of the nice community to talk to the nice police. He looked fit and ready to spend the afternoon yachting. He wanted to know why the police wouldn't do anything about the homeless people who went through his recycling bins after he put them out to his curb for collection the next day. Those darn homeless people had the nerve, nay, audacity to rummage through HIS good garbage. That was HIS garbage and he paid GOOD MONEY for that garbage collection. He pays his taxes, darn it. He shouldn't have to tolerate some unworthy person sucking off the teat of society using his good garbage to make a tiny bit of money.

I really wanted to say something. And I think the cops were trying their best to be respectful to Mr. Tax Payer, too, but they sure seemed to want to point something obvious out to him. I don't know. Why should this encounter have bothered me so, stuck with me so? Why was I irritated? I LIKE that there are people who go through the recycling bins, you know why? Because then I am really sure that stuff will GET to a recycling center. And the CRV is going to (somewhat) good use. You know what, Yacht Guy, Mr. Tax Payer? Why don't YOU care as much about your recycling as those less-than-desirables in society? That guy and also that lady that goes up my favorite hiking spot to pull bottles out of the garbage cans up there? Hell, they're getting a work-out AND doing good by the Earth. GOOD for them. You've thrown it away, why do you care what happens to it now? And would YOU climb in that dumpster? No: you've already thrown that item away and missed it's value that someone else recognizes. Leave them alone. No - admire them. They earn it.

I salute you, O Dancers of the Dumpsters. And I thank you. Moreover, I really, really respect you. Does that mean anyting to you?

Meh. Prob'ly not. Oh well.