Archive for the ‘Trashy Stuff’ Category

My Turn by Trash Toter

Posted: May 19, 2009 in Trashy Stuff

Special Guest Blog, By Trash Toter

As my name suggests I’m a Trash Can, a big one with a nice set of lubricated wheels.

When the staff at The Small Ball Report asked me to submit a My Turn article for this blog, I was daunted by the 600 words they were asking me to write. Of course I’m educated and well spoken, but I do spend my week in a garage, and only once a week, on Tuesday’s in our neighborhood, do I get to venture outside to the curb and talk to people, and form my own world view. And, this is not a social-economic slight, but the majority of the garbage collectors that show up are not well versed in Socrates, my favorite topic.

Some people that walk by or drive by on Tuesday’s don’t believe that I’m even real, that I have a pulse, that I have feelings, that I have an opinion. They see me as just another inanimate object. Others secretly know that I might not be real, like a Santa Claus, but will play along so as not to ruin it for those that still believe in Trash Toter. Both of these categories of people would be surprised to know what I really know.

Sometimes trash is just trash
Along with the separation of church and state, and the separation of the latest It couple in Hollywood (Jon and Kate are not an It couple, do not insert it here), the most noted separation in our society has become the separation of our trash. In some neighborhoods there are as many as 5 to 6 different categories of trash: Normal garbage (like I carry), Recyclables, Yard Waste Bags, Heavy Branches, and Hazardous Waste such as batteries, paint and the new Al Gore lightbulbs.

Now, I’m not saying this just because I like to lug a heavy load to the curb each week and keep a spreadsheet with my personal records. Hey, I have personal goals and a new life coach just like you. I’m saying it because I bet if you followed all the trucks to the landfill you would probably find all the different categories of waste payload being dumped in the same spot.

At my current residence for example, my adopted family, has been known to fill me up early in a week, especially when there is a holiday or they have had company. This is when their own personal definition of what can be recycled changes. They imagine someone at the Recycle Factory plucking out leftover tuna salad and pivoting around and placing it in the leftover tuna salad bin. Perhaps our government is finally getting off their ass and creating a renewable fuel that is propelled by leftover tuna salad.

Now we know this is not the case, and that more likely, the Recycle Technician, will look at the tuna salad, and say @#$@#$ people put Tuna Salad in the Recycler! Incidentally, the average tenure of a Recycle Technician is about 4 days and that’s up from about 4 hours due to the economy.

The disqualification rate of trash at the recycle plant is roughly equal to the disqualification of bicycle riders for cheating at the Tour de France, about half. This is why I’ve written Ms. Congresswoman recently and proposed that we instead build a Trash Factory where Trash Technicians pick out the trash (bottles/cans/etc) that we can reuse for us.

Beware the Black Hefty Bag
Ultimately before golf courses and housing editions with prickly HOA covenants can be built on former landfills, large adjacent dirt piles need to be used to cover up our trash. The Caterpillar company can help us as they have heavy earth moving equipment, but the key ingredient is dirt. Lots, and lots of dirt.

So naturally, the one thing you are not allowed to throw away is… Dirt. If you filled up my trash toting belly with dirt the garbage collector would put a tag on me, saying we don’t take dirt. Apparently, they already have their own dirt at the landfill.

One time, my adopted family spent the weekend digging nice straight lines around all their mulch beds. Twenty years ago, trees could grow on their own in the yard, now trees are bigger Divas than the NFL wide-receiver species. Now, they need a mulch bed to grow.

So they put the dirt clumps in the little Home Depot bought trash cans – cute little things – and set the cans out by the curb. On Tuesday the garbage guys took all my crap, but wouldn’t take the dirt. Apparently, you need a special yard bag with a sticker on it that gives you the right to throw away your own dirt?

Luckily, years ago the good folks at Mobil Oil had smart engineers and product managers and created a plastic bag called the Hefty. It was black in color and much bigger than your lily white kitchen bag. As everyone knows the black bag has more girth.

Mobil recognized early on that while a cool invention, the Hefty trash bag would not meet the high profit/pillage potential of their other business units so they divested the brand to Tenneco. Tenneco would later sell it to Pactiv, where you can now buy and sell Hefty in your stock club under the ticker PTV. And oh by the way, even in this economy Pactiv is trading nearly exactly the same as they did 12 months ago (trash is recession proof).

Besides its added girth, the black color of the bag neatly disguises its contents. So it sparked a breakthrough in back yard management. Or the re-distribution of your own dirt. Instead of sacrificing a nicely cut mulch bed line because it would create a back yard dirt mound that neighbor kids could recreate a Hamburger Hill assault on. Homeowners can now safely fill up one black hefty bag each week with dirt for each toter load. The garbage collector will likely not get wise to this strategy. Unless you do catch that one that I haven’t met yet, the one that does like Socrates.

Some use crack to get high, others take out the trash
Finally, one of the reasons that homeless people are notorious drug users is they don’t have trash pickup. People with homes and no trash pickup would also be druggies by the way.

If the homeless did have trash pickup, they too, would experience that once a week euphoric high that you get when you see a week’s worth of junk hauled to the landfill. Trash day is a time to reflect on the past week, reflect on the highs and lows and put things behind you. It is a time to start over and have a goal for the coming week. Even if the goal is as simple as how to place your next load, of trash.

The trash removal endorphin is more powerful than other controlled substances, as it creates more acute awareness and increased cognitive thinking. This is why it is common knowledge in the medical field that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most productive days of the week. It is because Tuesday is trash pick-up day.

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