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learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
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It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Blowing Out of Proportion: Me vs. Trash

March 23, 2009 - 7:30 PM

Allow me to blow a story out of proportion for you...

We are in a feats of strength with the local trash collection service. 

Where we came from, trash collection was, lets refer to it as, capitalistic: many companies providing service, fighting for your business, offering varying prices and service, some come to your house, the workers are generally cheerful, they actually take random items like couches even when not turn over, etc.

Where we live now, trash collection is run by the one company, the local government.  Everything has limits, sizes and weights exact, quantity under regulation, everything must be wrapped or tagged or sorted as per their exact regulations, anything out of the ordinary is not approved and fines flow like water.

Then, there comes the trash cans... since our trash cans are not the sanctioned ones, they have suffered under much wrath and persecution, primarily in the area of missing lids and more recently in the form of breaking holes into our cans.  Missing lids and holes mean vermin issues, vermin issues means knocked over cans, knocked over cans now means that trash stays inside the garage until trash day, trash inside means stinky basement/garage.

Then, there is the time of pickup.  Stated by their rules, you can't put out the trash sooner that 3PM the day before (or risk fines) and they will not pickup any earlier than 7AM the trash day.  For the last 6 years they generally hit across the street at 6:30AM (or earlier) and to our side between 8:30 and 10AM. 

This last month, our side became the 6:30AM (or earlier) pickup. 

Combine my overprotectiveness of our new lids, the vermin issue not wanting to leave cans on the curb without lids any sooner than needed, the stinky garage from missed trash days before new lids were purchased, them accidentally missing our bags before a snow storm and then said snow melting making our bags count as a day of pickup, a holey-bottom can that once again makes it so that some of the trash has to stay inside, the extremely early pick-up time, a recent bum foot not being able to drive to the dump... it all means on more than one occassion, we have not gotten our trash out on time and we have a back log of trash, again.

Even with all that, like I said, I am blowing this WAY out of proportion because quite honestly, it could be worse...


Aside: Yes of course, we make a point to reduce, reuse, recycle as much as we can (sans paper towels, though I am honestly halfway there thanks to Josh, Sarah and Maren!).  This post was not not meant to be a post regarding quantities of trash... it was meant to be a joke... this is why I don't tell jokes... except I did just read several great lawyer jokes...

Response to Blowing Out of Proportion: Me vs. Trash

  • Sarah said on March 23, 2009 - 9:25 PM

    Do you not have to have those special government issued cans? We just got ours in CV and they won't pick up your trash UNLESS it's in the new cans. I've never had too many issues with trash pick up here, but man oh man, recycling has been my issue. Maybe you could bake some cookies for the garbage men and make real nice with them, so that from now on they'd be extra kind to you and your garbage.

  • Dana said on March 23, 2009 - 9:33 PM

    Yes, I have seen IC govt issued cans around but don't have any yet. (And as well, curb side recycling could be included in my trash drama getting blown out of proportion, oy!) When they used to pick up around "normal" hours, the collectors and I were on a happy/cordial/chatty relationship standing as I was generally pulling out the cans right as they were coming to our house and ended up talking with them frequently, with good vibes by all. Sadly, I don't think it is them as much as it is the system, *sigh*. BUT SARAH! I am now using paper towels half the time and rags the other half! I am getting there! :)!

  • Kirsten said on March 23, 2009 - 11:07 PM

    We have city run trash service here too, and I have to agree that the free market trash service concept seems to produce better service. I am so thankful though that trash is picked up on the alley on our street, so the trash cans can stay out all the time. And they have nice, thick, attached-on-hinges lids. But once or twice the cans were in their designated spot where they always are, and still somehow the trash mysteriously was not taken. At least they don't seem to pass out fines for that sort of thing here.

  • Maren said on March 24, 2009 - 1:01 PM

    Wait, what is thanks to me? Karl said he tries to throw away more things than recycle. ...Just kidding. I liked your story, and thought that the Funny Farm clip was an especially nice touch. What a great example of the benefit of competition between businesses rather than government-run programs. Do you compost? I am so excited to get composting again this spring! I'm retraining myself to put aside kitchen waste, dryer lint, shreddable paper, hair clippings (yes!), and more for our wonderful and rich compost pile! Even if you don't have a garden at home, you could probably sell your compost...or use it in your garden plot this year. Karl had us start using washcloths when we would normally use paper towels and now we hardly ever buy paper towels! I think it's taken us 6 months to go through 1 package.

  • Dana said on March 24, 2009 - 1:18 PM

    Well, Sarah is a big proponent of having lots of washcloths on hand to not use paper towels... Josh bought me my first batch of washcloths... and you (sweet Maren) made this wonderful cleaner that doesn't make my washcloths smell like bunk too quickly! :)! No composting for me yet, maybe next year, :)!

  • leah said on March 24, 2009 - 2:26 PM

    rachel told me of these rags made my clorox that are actually supposed to "work better" the more you bleach them. i was totally in the 100% paper towel boat, but then tried these and they work great. i bought two colors, tan and blue and use the tan one for the kids and the blue ones for cleaning. and then about every other day i rotate them out for clean ones and once a week i throw the entire load into the washer with some bleach and i love them! and the great thing is... they never have an odor! :) the only downside is... you gotta be ok with bleach :)

  • Kari said on March 25, 2009 - 10:45 AM

    I wonder if small towns have better trash/public service experiences... yesterday I called our City Hall to see if our town street guy would mind picking up a dead squirrel at the end of our drive and within 1/2 hour it was gone! :)

  • Matt Heerema said on March 25, 2009 - 3:01 PM

    Government run ANYTHING FTW!!!

  • Dana said on March 25, 2009 - 3:36 PM

    Government run Health Care! (Oh, I know I am not talking about that per se, just a thought though, can you imagine? :)!)

  • Sarah said on March 25, 2009 - 8:43 PM

    Dana - I'm so proud of you for using rags/washcloths! They really are super easy, and when you have a lot it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to use once and wash. Plus, then, it doesn't get all funky and nasty, which I couldn't handle!

  • Rob said on March 26, 2009 - 10:57 PM

    But comrade, we must abide by the rules and regulations of the People's Republic of Iowa City!

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
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   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
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Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
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