This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I invite you to indulge in my rant on the garbage collection system in my current city. I will cover everything from the ineffectiveness of the irregular schedule to the lack of green methods of collection. But first, A Survivor’s Tale:
A Survivor’s Tale
It was late August; the sweltering hot days were met by cool nights in a euphoric cycle. I was still deliriously happy from my solo road trip. The sheer stress that accompanies moving into a new house mixed with excitement for orientation week training. To say I poorly estimated the time it would take for me to get settled in – is an understatement. I had no clue it would take as long as it did.
I didn’t have the time though. Training filled my days and every last bit of energy I had left was spent setting up the essentials – internet, curtains, but most importantly the former. As a result, we missed the first garbage day. Who could blame us? We barely had a fully equipped kitchen, nor a garbage calendar. The problem was that we had just moved in, so our ‘garbage’ wasn’t exactly ‘garbage’ as it was a mini-dump site manifesting itself on our porch.
No stress, we got a garbage calendar soon enough. Unlike most things, our dump site did not benefit with the passage of time – it only grew. It also grew into an issue when we missed our second garbage day. It was Orientation Week and as volunteers, we left the house on average around 6am and came home around 2am. No sleep. Thus, no time to think about putting out the garbage. At one point though, the mass amounts of piled up cardboard did lend itself as a temporary nap spot when one of my housemates forgot her keys.
Two garbage days missed – it wasn’t going to happen again. But it did. We had officially missed three consecutive garbage days in a row. Was it us? Was it the system? Did the garbage grow to love us and fear separation anxiety?
From that point on, we made a commitment to never have it happen again. We hung up the calendar and set reminders for the night before, we allocated the responsibility to certain people every week, and we were slapped in the face with the realness of responsibility. (And quite possibility the need to mitigate the risk associated with an unexpected visit from the parents)
This story is a cautionary tale. Before you jump the gun and state that the root of the problem was our laziness or utter disregard for garbage day, let me enlighten you to some of the structural complexities.
8 Day Garbage Collection System
This means that every week, garbage is collected on a different day.
For example, this week pick-up was scheduled for Wednesday and next week it is scheduled for Thursday. Simple enough, but not when you come from a same-day system or when you are a busy student. Missed garbage days are a product of this disconnect between the current irregular system and the student lifestyle.
Side note: where I’m from we have green bins, which are essentially bins for compost/food waste. Here they don’t have them?!? The garbage collection system is out of whack and doesn’t even have environmental measures in place to decrease my disappointment.
Currently a revision of the 8-day system is in order and a switch to the same-day system is popular because “people like their houses to be in order, and their lives.” YES. It’s hard enough keeping track of days – let alone deadlines – it would be so much simpler if we had to remember only one day. It would also mean a $7 increase per household, which causes most people to re-evaluate just how valid our complaints are.
I realize the nature of this post makes it only applicable to a select few. In the grander scheme of this blog, it is still yet another post wherein I realize the realness of responsibility. University isn’t the only place we learn, every day is a learning opportunity. There is also a 15% chance it could also be a garbage day.
Below is a video to motivate you to..er take out the trash? Hopefully the hard hitting Arctic Monkeys track will help make this tedious chore into something more.