The World According to Keitho

Just another weblog

Fun with garbage

Posted by keithosaunders on September 9, 2010

We were finishing up dinner and I was about to throw the remaining scraps of my meal into the garbage when all of a sudden my son called out, “Dad, no!  It goes in here.”   He was pointing to a 16 inch hard plastic green pail.   I stared in disbelief.

“Good sweet Mordecai, you don’t mean…”

“I do.”


You see, my friends, garbage in the Bay Area is no laughing matter.  They take recycling seriously in these parts and you either get on the bus or get out of town. 

We’ve got three garbage pails:   One for regular garbage, and one for recycling, which conveniently encompasses most plastics, glass, and my personal favorite, foil.  These pails are not large and if you overfill them the garbage men will leave the excess at the curb.  Then there is the green compost pail where we put the food and lawn scraps.  The entire crowd of them get picked up by three separate trucks on Wednesday. 

As you can see there’s a lot of pressure on garbage day.   First of all, don’t forget to put the pails out on Tuesday night.  Second of all, don’t forget about the pails. 

The first two weeks we were here the garbage men left the pails halfway full.  I was wondering if this was some sort of neighborhood initiation or hazing.  Perhaps they wanted a tip.  “Thanks for taking care of me, Nunzio.” 

Fortunately my neighbor appears to be an expert on the topic and he informed me that sometimes the bags adhere to the bottom of the pail.  Yesterday I was able to observe the pickup process.  I learned that the garbage men do not actually handle the garbage!  The trucks are equipped with hydraulic prongs which lift the pails upside down and into the truck. 

I realized that I simply had to put the bag on bottom, which had been sticking, onto the top.  It worked like a charm.  Yesterday’s garbage pickup was 100% successful and today I feel like a million bucks!


3 Responses to “Fun with garbage”

  1. bkivey said


    Ah, Grasshopper, you are becoming wise in the ways of the Garbage Mafia. Around my parts it’s not quite that bad; there are separate containers for paper, glass/plastic, and run-of-the-mill garbage. No compost (as yet). When I go back East it feels weird (and, I admit, not a little guilty) to just throw everything in one container.


  2. Down here in Greenville, SC, recycling means throwing all your trash in one bag, bringing it to the dumpster behind our apartment building, and tossing everything in together: food scraps, broken blenders, old toys, cardboard boxes, you name it. In other words, recycling is not something taken very seriously down here. When I first moved here, (coming from Maine, a moderate recycling state), I was shocked by the 1970’s era state of garbage pickup.
    Seems like it’s mostly one extreme or another in much of the country. Yours in Garbage, Bill

    • William, I was curious if there is a baseball team that ius shown locally in Greenville? Do they run the Braves games? Do you get the baseball package to follow the MEts? I’m considering getting it next year, but not sure if it pays for me since 4pm games are tough to get to.

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