Saturday, March 21, 2009

taking out the trash

In this age of planned obsolescence we have accumulated a large number of broken appliances, broken down and rusted out furniture, and other junk items.

We recycle everything we can -- for a rural area we actually have a pretty good local recycling program that actually does "curbside" recycling (not that anyone here actually has a curb) that is picked up at the same time as the stuff headed for the landfill. But there's a lot of things that don't fall within the purview of our recycling center, that are too large to put into the weekly garbage.

If we lived in an urban area there might be places that took broken things and fixed them, but here in this area, there is not. We have no Goodwill, no St. Vincent de Paul, no Salvation Army. The nearest Goodwill is a 90 minute drive (over winding mountain roads), and they do not pick up this far away. Since all we own are very small compact (fuel efficient) cars, we have no way to haul our junk to the Goodwill.

Clothing can go to several local church based clothing programs, so that's where all our clothing goes; but there's no local outlet for other household goods, especially for those that need minor repairs.

So, after a year of calling every few weeks, we finally got a big dumpster from the county. Our project for the next week or so, will be filling that dumpster with all our accumulated crap, to be hauled away. I look forward to having my back patio and front porch, and the shed out back cleared of all the accumulated junk. Also going in the dumpster are the metal file cabinets and metal kitchen cabinets that as the result of 20 years of cat pee have bottoms that are almost completely rusted out. They will be replaced by wooden furniture that won't rust.


Anonymous said...

I suppose given the distances and winding roads, not even Freecycle is practical. Sometimes I think "being green" takes the mind of a chess player. A few years ago I impulsively bought a fake Christmas tree because I didn't feel good about the cutting of live trees. Now they tell me that tree farms not only create a lot of jobs, but fake trees eventually end up in landfills. ~sigh~ If you know of a guilt-free indoor tree, let me know! Good luck with your de-crapping!!

Beth P. said...

Dear Sue--
This was an eye-opening post--I've always lived--except for my time in Denver--in small cities/towns. There have always been places to give my 'stuff' to...

What a conundrum.

Do you ever have 'give-aways'? Our community sometimes does that--you can get rid of a lot of stuff that's just trash to you, but 'another man's treasure'!

Thanks for this thoughtful piece.