“Garbage day! Can we go see Mom?”
Remember when you used to do that? I’m sure every young boy thinks that garbage day is an event. But like all events, things aren’t the same as they used to be.
I remember watching the garbage truck pull up to the curb. Two men would jump off the back, toss in all the bags that were on the curb, and then jump back on the truck. They stood up on the back foot ledge and held onto a handle on the side. The truck would pull up to the next pile on the curb and they would jump off and do the same thing.
And if you were lucky, you would see them activate the crusher. It would compact the garbage.
Yeah, garbage day was an event when I was a kid.
It became an event when I was a teenager too because of recycling. “You can’t throw that out!” I’d yell at my parents. I became a recycling champion and made sure we recycled everything we could.
Well, things sure have changed. Recycling is still going strong in my household but garbage day is completely different now. I watched the garbage truck for old time’s sake last week and noticed that there was only one person on the truck. There used to be a driver and two collectors. It used to be a three-person job. When, and how, did it become a one-person job? And did anybody notice?
And some municipalities are now making you prepay to have this garbage service. You have to go to the store and buy garbage tags. They cost $1.50 each and are basically a sticker with a numeric code on them. You attach this sticker to the top of each bag that you put out to the curb. Bags without a sticker tag on them will not be picked up. They will remain on the curb.
I think this is crazy. I think it is a good idea to encourage people to cut down on their garbage but I also know some people can’t afford to buy these tags. And where do these people put their garbage? Some are taking it to work to throw out there. Others might be dumping it somewhere.
I think garbage put out on the curb should be collected, within reason. Maybe we could just ration it – one free bag per household. I don’t think we should be telling people that they can’t throw out their garbage.