Friday, November 05, 2004


Last night I set 30 bags of trash, one box of trash, and a full trash can out on the curb. I felt slightly ridiculous when I added my recycling bin at the end of the line. If I had still been back in Japanese apartment, just 5 of the bags would have filled the 3-unit trash bin. We would have been forced to sneak the trash on base and into the residential dumpsters to avoid hefty local trash fees. Here in Cincinnati, I am fairly confident that the whole mess will be gone when I get home. This is the second week in a row that we have looked like the trashy people on Friday morning.

I am not proud of my trash production. I used to be a recycling vigilante. When curbside recycling was introduced in my home town as a teenager, I drove my family nuts with my preaching. I flattened cans and cardboard boxes with zest. Now I am producing 30 bags of trash and one small bin of recycling a week. What happened?

Moving happened! What an incredibly wasteful process it is. We moved 160 items (an item could be a box or a piece of furniture) from Japan to the States. Our smaller belongings were packed in cardboard boxes (happily recyclable) and cushioned with yards of paper. The furnishings and large items were wrapped with layers of packing paper and finished off with bubble wrap. The paper and bubbles are the main content of those thirty trash bags. I flattened the crumpled mess as best I could, but it still seems to occupy more space than it should.

So, I have trash, international trash, on my conscience. I am hoping my online confession, and the fact that it will be GONE when I get home, will ease my guilty mind. I don’t want to be trashy anymore.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We went down to the quarted sized trash can instead of the Green Hulk last year because it was cheaper and frankly we didn't produce that much garbage( that was before baby and baby diapers) since I'm still a recyling machine. Which means that we have a shed full of cans, glass, cardboard and paper in our shed becasue of course living out size the city limits means the recyling truck doesn't make it to our road and we are too lazy to drive the goods into town on a regular or even somewhat regular basis. But damn! I feel good about our recyling shed project.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Scott in Washington said...

Not only is the cheaper trash can smaller in volume, but even better its just as tall. I can still surreptitiously sneak peaks out the window at my wife, trying to get her stomping foot up to the level of her chin without falling over or knocking over the trash!

5:47 PM  

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