Lessons Learned-Hauling Trash

One of the big differences between the sub division life and life in the country is trash!  And I am not talking about quantity or pollution or waste (that is another blog), but how you get rid of it!

In the subdivision we had a trash truck that came around every Tuesday a.m. at 7:30 a.m. and would empty our trash, recycle bin and take our bags of leaves and yard stuff.  On Monday night we would scurry, get all the trash and recyclables in their cans and roll them to the end of the drive and be so happy that someone was getting it the next day.  Never mind that we were limited to how much (if we had a big project going on we would get one of those construction dumpsters on the drive) and we just didn’t bat an eye at the $100 bill every quarter that we got for this service.  On Tuesday evening we would scurry again, but to the end of the driveway to pull up our cans and put them out of site so that we would not get evil looks from neighbors or receive the ever dreaded letter from the ACC reminding us that we needed to pull up the cans on the same day that they were emptied. Oh and by the way, don’t roll them down the night before–if you happen to be working in your yard on Sunday it was a “no no” to leave the bags down there for Tuesday; they needed to come up the drive and then venture back down for the trash crew.

When we moved and swapped utilities I noticed that we did not get info on our trash service.  At the closing table I asked “where do we take our trash?”  The answer was “you take it all to Chelsea”  and I thought “who is Chelsea and why does she want my trash????”  In further questioning we were told that several places had trash drop off and Chelsea was one of those.  We were in town for the weekend of the closing and had done work in the house.  Before heading back to Atlanta, we loaded up trash and headed to the town of Chelsea.  We had no idea what we were looking for, but thought that we would figure it out.  Sure enough, we got to Chelsea and pulled into the little market.  We looked across the street and there was a trash truck and a man sitting in a lawn chair.  We drove over.

Conversation went like this:
“Hi, we are here to bring you our trash.”
“You gotta card?”  (we must have looked like newbies I guess)
“Card? What card? We closed on our house and they told us to bring trash to Chelsea and here we are (big smile)”
“Need a card”
“Where do we get a card?”
“At the county but this is a holiday, they are closed”
“Oh, what county and where do we go?”
“OK… I will take your trash this time but you figure it out before next time, ok???”
“Oh thank you, thank you. We are heading back to Atlanta and we really don’t want to take the trash!  Thank you, thank you”
“No problem”– sympathy smile as I am sure he was thinking, “you city folks have a lot to learn!”

So we got the card which by the way was $24 for an entire year (jump for joy). AND have been dropping trash off ever since.

What I have learned from the paradigm shift of becoming my own trash hauler:

  • You are much more conscience about what you are tossing out!  Trash is heavy and less is, well more manageable.
  • It is a social event; you get to know your trash collector and others who drop off with you.  You look forward to saying “hi” to others. They become part of your weekly routine.
  • You help others unload and don’t mind asking others for assistance to help you unload.
  • If stuff isn’t really trash you save it to the side in your truck.  There are all kinds of people looking for stuff; there is the metal collector guy for instance that fills his trailer daily with stuff, sells it and feeds his household with his income from that.
  • You hear GREAT stories about stuff that people bring. Like the women cleaning out a deceased relatives house and brought everything in bags.  Our trash collector rummaged through and got an entire set of cast iron skillets in perfect condition. Or the couple who brought stuff they had “forever” and one of the items was an altar stone with a relic in it (for you that are Catholic you understand the significance and rarity of this event!)
  • I think of others as I sort through my boxes that I am unpacking.  There is a woman with children that now has some of the precious toys that my children played with.  It makes me so happy knowing where they are at and having a picture of her and her kids in my head with them.
  • No one cares what you look like!  Like I said this is a social event, but not one you primp for.  It is a true “come as you are” event.
  • No matter your income, everyone is totally the same when unloading your own trash and tossing it in!
  • I have to take a break from work to do this; it is a great thing to have on the calendar.  Every week for 1 hour I must be away from my laptop and work and thinking of only the basics!
I never thought that I would LOVE this change so much, but I do.  I think even if I ever find myself in a situation again where I can get pick up, I will still seek out where the real folks are, taking there own stuff, saying hello, helping out and giving to one another.

4 thoughts on “Lessons Learned-Hauling Trash

  1. It truly is a different ‘mind-set’ living rurally! 🙂
    We do have trash pickup available where we are but most of our neighbors still haul theirs to the dump once a month.

  2. We became trash haulers too when we moved to New England 12 years ago… it took a while to get used to it but now it’s old hat… We can purchase our dump sticker online now ( big improvement from when we first arrived ) instead of driving to town to the town hall1 Happy Hauling! 🙂

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