Pay No Attention To That Woman With The Hefty Bags Crawling Across Your Lawn

Nothing to see here, folks.

I’m environmentally sensitive.  Like most thinking people, I practice the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle.  But my favorite R is the fourth one:  Relocate.

We have lots of trees, flowers and wide open spaces out in the country where I live.  What we DON’T have is trash pickup.

All you city slickers have to do to get rid of trash is gift-wrap it in scented pink bags, stroll 10 feet out the front door and rest it gently on the curb.  The Trash Fairies magically whisk garbage away while you sleep.  Living in the sticks we follow the same rules as when hiking in a national park; if you bring it in, you have to carry it out …on your back.

Or, you know, in your car.

I spend a lot of time in my car.  I’m dining (fine and not-so-fine), banking, visiting clients, shopping – busy lives generate a lot of trash.  Since anything I throw out at home has to be brought back into town, my mission is to not bring it home in the first place.

Trash relocation has become something of a game with me.

When I run to Dollar General for supplies, I empty the stray gum wrappers and bank deposit slips from my purse into their trash can.

Fast food for lunch?   I trade in that morning’s coffee cup at the window.  You’d be surprised how many drive-through employees seem annoyed when I ask them to dispose of my garbage.  I figure if McDonald’s wanted me to toss it myself, they’d put those funneling chutes on all their trash cans.  Surely they don’t expect me to get out of the car?

A fill-up at the gas station calls for a total car cleanup.  I’m down on my hands and knees, under the seats and in the way-back, gathering up old church bulletins and fossilized Junior Mints.  Some times I unearth a toy that has been wedged under the seat-belt mechanism for years – who will give me $20 for a vintage Happy Meal Beanie Baby?  I also use the gas station squeegee and windshield fluid to clean my windows, but I absolutely draw the line at doing the whole car with the squeegee;  the redneck car-wash.

While I like to be clever about trash relocation, I do have my limits.  We bring newspapers and magazines to my mother in law’s house for recycling, and aluminum cans go to a co-worker who cashes them in.  Plastic bags are reused by the Goodwill, and vegetable waste is tossed into the woods.  Whatever we have left is bagged and lugged into town to be deposited in our office dumpster in a sanitary and lawful fashion.

Not everyone shares my scruples.

trashbarrelOne person thought the best, final resting place for his or her old, scraggly garden hose was the trash can outside Dollar General.

  buttsinsnow

Another person developed a hole in his car and never noticed that the entire contents of his ashtray had spilled out into the street.

  trashbyroad

  Yet another person felt that nothing would improve the pristine beauty of this country road quite like a queen-size Serta BeautyRest.  Although it is true that most of us hillbillies find a rusting  washing machine adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the porch decor, we don’t necessarily want to add someone else’s Zenith Solid State Mahogany Console TV to our landscape.

Of course I would never do what these 3 slobs did, and I know you wouldn’t either.    You keep taking your trash to the curb and I’ll keep bringing mine to town.  And if by chance you look out your front window some dark night, and think you see a woman in camouflage “low-crawling” across your lawn with a couple of Hefty bags…pay no attention.

Advertisements

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
This entry was posted in General Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Pay No Attention To That Woman With The Hefty Bags Crawling Across Your Lawn

  1. mistyslaws says:

    I live out in the country, but apparently you are way out in the sticks!! I can’t believe you don’t have trash pick up. That sucks.

    But be honest . . . those are your mattresses, aren’t they? It’s ok, we’re all friends here. I mean, I will have to report you and have you fined for littering, but that’s just my civic duty. We’re still friends, right? Hello?

    Like

  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    No trash pick-up?! That’s downright uncivilized.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      It is. Out where we live you have to make your own arrangements and pay to have trash picked up. Since we already pay for a dumpster at our office, we never saw the need.

      Like

  3. I always thought Alice *was* the Bradys’ trash fairy.

    Like

  4. We don’t have trash pickup here, either. As a matter of fact, we are constantly telling each other “We need to go to the dump. Did you go to the dump yet? We really need to stop at the dump this weekend….” Apparently, the dump is the hot spot here in the boonies of Maine.

    And I have to say, I kinda like the idea of a mattress on the side of the road. So many times I’ll be driving and need to just pull over and take a nice nap, might come in handy.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I thought everybody went to the dump to watch the bears? Do you have to pay to take a dump? (sorry, couldn’t resist).

      I’m sure the person who dumped that mattress was only thinking of the comfort of weary travelers when he did so – what a great guy.

      Like

  5. lexiemom says:

    I’m a big-time city girl, but I still do the car clean out at every opportunity, too. I just hate to have a trashy vehicle, but I have three kids and drive a mini-van. That thing is ALWAYS full of trash. So, every time I stop somewhere, I take a load out & put in the nearest can. Or I give my leftovers to the drive-thru gal, too. Although, I’ve had one McDonald’s employee tell me that they are “not allowed” to take my garbage through the drive-thru. Yeah, right.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. The only time I ask the drive-through to take my trash is if it’s a coffee cup/drink cup from THEIR chain, and I’m replacing it with another and don’t have room in my cupholder. I’ve had them say the same thing – what a bunch of….garbage!

      Like

  6. The Cutter says:

    No trash pickup? Can they DO that?

    Like

  7. Being married to an excavator has it’s advantages. We have our own little landfill where we bury things that do not decompose… nothing hazardous, of course. Growing up on the farm, we always had a burn barrel and we hauled our trash “to the woods” and had a dump pile. It’s private property and back in the 60’s we were not really environmentally-minded. Now we have our own little landfill where we bury things that don’t decompose….nothing hazardous, of course. We used to feed our table scraps to our hogs. My how times have changed!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      We used to have a burn barrel, but after the 3rd one bit the dust my hubby never got another one – don’t know why.

      When we first bought our property, we had just closed on it and walked to the far back in the woods to enjoy our new place. We discovered the prior owner also had their own landfill. We were greeted by the sight of millions of disposable diapers and assorted other trash tumbling down the side of our hill in the otherwise pristine woods. After 25 years the trash is pretty well buried, but I wouldn’t walk back there to this day.

      Like

  8. rachelocal says:

    When I lived in Massachusetts, we had to buy bright yellow garbage bags from city hall in order to get a trash pick-up – $5 each! The trash collectors would only pick up the yellow ones. I never remembered to buy the bags so would often sneak my trash into various grocery store dumpsters. It really is an art.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      There’s a fine line between creative trash relocation and stealing services I haven’t paid for. It’s a line I constantly walk and I tell myself I’m only doing the “creative” stuff. That’s what I tell myself.

      Like

  9. Wow!!
    No collection??
    In the UK we would be having panic attacks if we didn’t have rubbish collection.. I am surprised more people don’t dump rubbish if there is no collection.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Don’t get the wrong impression – there is collection most everywhere. It’s just way out in the country where it isn’t automatic.

      But you can’t just put an old washing machine out on the curb even in town and expect it will be picked up. That’s why so many lonely country roads (like mine) are graced with appliances and mattresses from people who don’t want to pay to have them properly disposed of.

      Like

    • barbtaub says:

      I must live in a different part of the UK from you, because fly-tipping (illegal dumping) is rampant. Recently we were hiking along a public footpath and came across not one but two sofas in the middle of a pasture. Hauling them out there must have been a huge job, but some people spare no effort when it comes to being lazy slobs.

      Like

      • pegoleg says:

        “spare no effort..to be lazy slobs” HA HA! That is so true. Instead of all that sneaking around they could have just disposed of the trash legally and saved some trouble.

        Like

  10. As others have said – What?! No collection!!! Seriously? Anyone would think you lived in the type of country where the government just suddenly shuts down…oh wait.

    Like

  11. Al says:

    This gives a new and even more chilling meaning to the old phrase “I know where you live!” Looks like I’ll have to stake Bellasaurus out in the front yard on trash day.

    Like

  12. Al says:

    P.S. This is one of your best Photoshop efforts yet. Alice from the Bradys looks so real!

    Like

  13. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, I’m impressed! I’m one of those pampered urban dwellers who thinks no further than wheeling her smelly trash can to the curb. My step-father, however, hauls his trash to the dump on his own. AND he lives in a small city where he would not need to do so. But he likes to save the money. Next time I see him, I’ll have to ask if he sheds his out-of-the-home garbage as cleverly as you!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      He probably has a special coat with deep pockets for holding the crushed beer cans, newspapers and Hershey candy bar wrappers. Or at least that’s what SOME people do.

      Like

  14. Kristal says:

    We have garbage pickup, but no dump available to us. The towns around us are misers and will throw us in jail if they catch us throwing away our soiled waste in their precious landfills. I live for the few white goods days that our town hall hosts. Love this post! And I totally didn’t see you last night;)

    Like

  15. Elyse says:

    One of my favorite childhood memories is of going to the dump with my dad when we were on vacation in New Hampshire. We sang “to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump dump dump” to the tune of the “giddy-up” song. We had so much fun. Seriously.

    Well, it was a great memory until I was retelling it to my son, Jacob. We sang the song together as we arrived home. I hit the side of the garage.

    When Jacob told my husband how it happened (I was pretending to be completely ashamed while trying valiantly not to laugh), John said through clenched teeth: “We PAY for pickup.”

    Like

  16. I love how you call it “trash relocation.”
    It sounds like corporate management jargon involving bad employees getting laid off. 🙂

    Like

  17. We have garbage collection but I still need to do the car clean-out at the gas station. Seems like that’s the only place and time I have to do it!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Have you noticed how many gas station cans now have the tops with the smaller openings to discourage us from bringing the old garden hoses from home? They’re catching on.

      Like

  18. “bank deposit slips from my purse into their trash can.” What? What? What? Please be more careful my friend.

    Like

  19. MissSteele says:

    Someone threw a couch into my grandpa’s field one time. I just thought that was a little weird. I suspect someone was murdered on it, but I don’t know. Those blood stains could have been from anything.

    Like

  20. Marcia says:

    I practice car clean out every time I get out of it. Anything loose comes in to be thrown out. My daughter (busy mom of 3) lets her car fill up to the window level before she does anything about the accumulation. Many times I heard her offer money to the kids to clean it out for her. They just laughed. Well you should have heard me laugh when her teen-aged son got his first job. Detailing cars! I love your posts!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Ha! Talk about poetic justice. Am I correct in assuming that he still doesn’t want to clean out HER car?

      Thanks for the kind words – I’m delighted to have you stop in.

      Like

  21. The stealthy garbage crawl is not something exclusive to the rural garbage creators. In my suburban community, there is a 3 bag limit every second week, so those households who can’t figure out how to limit their garbage output sneak it onto another homeowners curb in the wee hours of the morning.

    There are even some folks who offer refuse refuge to neighbours if someone on the street goes over their limit and they have available capacity.

    It’s a communal concept that seems to work for us suburbanites. At least for those who play by the rules.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      “Refuse refuge” – how neighborly! I could see things getting very tense around the Weber grill when someone sneaky violates the neighborhood sensibilities, though.

      Like

  22. You go Peg! Why not start a trash pick-up business?? Betcha your neighbors would sign up in a heart beat and you would be mad rich$$$$$$! My husband would love you, he is an environmental planner and head of conservation in our town. You want a job here? 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I must admit that my environmental sensitivity was born of necessity. When your water comes out of the ground, and everything you waste has to be disposed of personally, you start thinking about fascinating topics like what happens when you toss or flush.

      Like

  23. Barb says:

    Yeah, I have a similar rule: if I bought it at Panda Express, then the trash goes back to Panda Express. This makes us “eat there” instead of “to go” cause I don’t feel like hauling their trash back to them. I reward my righteousness by getting an extra refill of whatever I’m drinking. Maybe some exta condiments. Okay, I might pick up some extra napkins for the car, too., but I draw the line at taking TP from the bathroom.

    Like

  24. Sandy Sue says:

    Ah, this brings back memories! On the farm we had a burn barrel plus barrels for cans and glass (for convenience, not the environment). When the barrels got full, Dad loaded them in the truck and took them ‘elsewhere.’ I can only hope there was some kind of recycling or reclamation depot, and not just Cletus’ back 40.

    Like

  25. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    That certainly complicates life for a person! Or, you could live with a mom who just doesn’t get the difference between trash, recycling and compost. It’s a bin! Trash goes in there! It’s a full time job correcting her little “errors”. And it’s quite unpleasant to pick out used Kleenex from kitchen compost.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Ewww! But I can relate. My dear hubby has the habit of putting used napkins on his plate or bowl. By the time i get around to washing them, the paper is firmly attached to the formerly-wet china. And my Mom turns the water on and then walks away for 5 minutes – she’s letting it get cold. I’m right behind her turning it off!

      Like

  26. I lived that far out in the country once, many years ago. It wasn’t the no trash pick-up that bothered me so much, I lived alone and didn’t really create a great deal of it. It was the rattlesnakes that sunned themselves on my walkway between my front door and my car. It was a very long walk. I hated that.

    I think your creative redistribution is excellent.

    Like

  27. Blogdramedy says:

    We live in the country and we’re the only ones to get trash pick-up service close to our front door…we’re the last house on the road and the only one with a driveway big enough to let the truck turn around. We always buy the guys a little something at Christmas ’cause walking up our driveway would take hours… *grin*

    Like

  28. Laura says:

    Wait — people clean out their cars???

    I underpaid my trash bill by thirty cents this month (there was a rate increase). I’m waiting to see whether they’ll still pick up my trash.

    Like

  29. Hello, Pegomyheart!
    Loved this post.. I live in the country, too, but on a paved road. Our township negotiated a deal with a trash picker-upper and it’s included in the summer taxes. We don’t have much say in the matter.
    They did, however, give us an extra wheel-out trash receptacle when ours was torn. That comes in handy when doing projects and we fill up two containers.
    We try to recycle as much as we can, just as you are, Peg!
    By the way, that camo looks fab on you. Just sayin………

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Miss Tar-buns! I am jealous of your excellent trash arrangements, although we’ve been doing this for so long it’s second nature now. The one thing we should do is get another burn barrel, however, so we wouldn’t have to lug in cardboard and the like.

      Have a great week, my dear!

      Like

  30. pattisj says:

    Our city decided to start charging for trash pick-up this year. Funny, I was pretty sure we were paying for it in the bills they kept sending us. And to think, all this time they paid for those trucks, and employees, gas and vehicle maintenance expenses. Right. Volunteers have been cleaning up a river in our state and have pulled 800+ tires–and other items–out of it over the past five years. You’re going to have to find another area to relocate your used tires. Sorry.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Isn’t that disgusting? A couple of years ago we found a slob had dumped his garbage on our road and we sifted through the raccoon-strewn mess until we found some mail with his address. His place in town, you could eat off the lawn! We called the police and they fined him, but I thought it would be poetic justice if they forced him to clean our road for a year.

      Like

  31. List of X says:

    I was always lucky to live in the areas with trash pick up. But a few years ago I moved from a house I shared with a couple of roommates to an apartment building which didn’t have recycling, So I remember having to haul my recyclables to my old house which was about 30 miles away.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m proud of you for making the effort! My office is in the business section of town and there’s no pickup here, either. The apartments above the offices have to make their own arrangements. I guess the landlords are responsible for their own tenants, but if they don’t provide a dumpster…..it’s a problem.

      We used to have a trash can out front of our office, but people kept stacking their garbage bags all around it, so the city took it out.

      Like

  32. We do have trash pick up but there are a lot of rules. Separate container for bottles and cans. Separate container for paper. Separate container for composting. Separate containers for trash. Weekly pick up for recycles and composting. Trash can only be put out every other week. Two bags per house – not per household. So the houses that have more than one household in them (like mine) are always practicing their Ninja garbage moves to put extra bags on the bag-lite lawns.

    Like

  33. amelie88 says:

    When I lived in Madrid, Spain, there was trash pick up every night–even on Sundays! And the best thing about living in a city is that you can leave ANYTHING out on the street and 9/10 someone else will come along and snatch it before the garbage men come along to take it. My roommate once left out a broken fan before trash pick up (the garbage truck didn’t make its rounds til after midnight) and the fan disappeared within half an hour. We laughed pretty hard since we assumed that person was just going to leave it out on the street too once he or she realized it was broken!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      That’s true in the city here, too. If you leave something out on the curb, usually somebody will pick it up. I love that – it’s recycling/repurposing at it’s most basic!

      Like

  34. I’m one of those small city slicker who pays for the privilege to have my trash disappear. But when I lived in the country, I saw all manner of creative, environmentally criminal ways that people dumped their junk. The worst was a Lazy Boy recliner, reclined in the side of a hill. Talk about lazy…

    Like

  35. PinotNinja says:

    And yet another reason why I need to give up my pipe dream of one day fleeing my urban lifestyle and becoming the queen of the country. I complain about the fact that I have to take my trash outside of my kitchen and into the garbage bin that is directly next to my side door. I don’t even have to move that garbage bin — my nice trash men walk around the side of my house and get it for me (its amazing what a little holiday gift of brown liquor will get a girl) — and I find it almost too much to bear. Just call me Princess PinotNinja….

    Like

  36. Go Jules Go says:

    Oy! That is one sacrifice we haven’t had to make in the NJ sticks – they just come 1x/week versus 2x like they do in more populated areas. (I know. Boo hoo.) I applaud your creativity!!

    Do you ever see people just throw their fast food garbage out of the window while they drive? It’s the main reason I consider owning a gun.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I’m with you. The only thing that stops me is the conviction that they will go directly to hell and burn forever. That and the fact that if I DID shoot them, I’d rot in jail.

      Like

  37. susielindau says:

    That was you I saw crawling across my lawn and dumping in my trash cans…
    Isn’t there new construction going on somewhere? You could go stealth and dump your trash in the middle of the night…. I won’t tell….

    Like

  38. I hate it when I see cigarettes on the side of the road. It’s just lazy and gross.

    Like

  39. Having grown up where trash you either burned it, buried it (darn critters digging stuff up!), or hauled it out – one thing I always ask is “Trash pick up?” ( after “it isn’t a spetic tank is it?”)
    Despite the availability of dumpsters for creative baggers, dumping is a big problem locally – they even have cameras now in some popular dumping spots.
    Cannot believe how many people just toss stuff out their car windows…if glares could – well, sadly those don’t work anymore.
    (Pick up is Mon and Thurs …crawl on over…actually our neighbor has been known to toss bags in her car and chase down the truck if she over sleeps – so you wouldn’t look odd at all)

    Like

  40. shaitom says:

    Very funny! I like your writings. you are good.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s