Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Trashy Tale

The instructions from our disposal company were clear and simple. "Place the bin in the street, with the wheels against the curb. After pickup, the collectors will place the bin in the street, next to the curb, at right angles to its original position".

My wife insisted that she didn't want the bin in the street, putting an obstruction in the narrow street. So, I am guilty of violating the rule, which is intended to simplify the process of collecting the contents of the disposal bins.

HOWEVER, I feel that my violation in not exactly the worst. I have talked to the collectors,and they do not seem to feel that I'm causing them actual grief.

As I ride along the street on trash day on the way to the trail, however, I'm somewhat impressed by the varying interpretations of the rule. or is it simply the standard human instinct to think that, "I know how it ought to be done, and I have a right to do it my way".

My neighbor across the street is a little bit erratic, but he usually places his bin precisely as instructed.

My bin is at the top of the curb, with lifting edge facing the Street. The trucks have a hoist which hooks the horizontal bar and lifts the bin onto the dumping ramp of the truck, but the collector must roll it to the lift. I imagine that most modern waste disposal trucks are like this now. The bins are supposed to hold a maximum 200 lb, but I'll bet that occasionally, they may contain more, depending on contents. That makes them somewhat heavy for a single person to handle unless he has the benefit of the wheels.

This one I'm inclined to give a pass, even though it's definitely placed incorrectly. The collector has to pull the bin off the end of the driveway and turn it in order to fit it onto the lift. This is a fairly easy process, though, nothing like man-handling a 200 lb. bin off the curb, rather than simply rolling it over the curb into the street.

This one is placed diametrically wrong! How the collector must have to struggle to get the bin off the curb! Once the wheels clear the curb as it's being pulled, the weight of the bin drags directly across the ground. I'll bet that he'll actually push it forward, and around into the driveway, where he'll push it "head first" off the end of the driveway and then to the truck. Quite a trip.

This arrangement is so bad that the camera seems to have deliberately hidden it from view. There are actually two bins in this arrangement, one provided by the collection company, and the other by the homeowner. They are placed sideways to the street as if they'd already been dumped, but we can easily see that they've been placed here for pickup. The bins are also placed so that the handles by which the collector is supposed to push the bin to the lift are facing each other in close proximity, making it impossible to easily wheel the bin into position.

I'm sort of trying to connect these images into some other significant events that are taking place here on this trash, as well as tax, day. The Texas legislature is close to passing a statewide anti-smoking ban. I'm not sure I actually believe that smoking is a God given right, but I'm not exactly in favor of the legislation either. Of course those who have become addicted to the smoking habit are absolutely certain that their rights are being violated, but I'm not really sure they are. Let us remember "Do you have a 'right' to yell "fire" in a crowded theater?" Our rights should not allow us to endanger the health and safety of others. That's one of the things that the gu'ment should be taking seriously.....protecting us from each other.

Then there's this thing down in Austin, and all over the country, I suppose, called the "Tea Party", sanctioned by the 'conservatives', and Rush Limbaugh. I may be one of the few people, but I'd like to hope that there are quite a few of us, that believe "voodoo economics" has been a total failure. I really think that the Federal Government is not interfering with citizens rights by collecting taxes. I do think that the Congress is acting irresponsibly in allocating the tax money that's been collected. How did Congress get their authority? We voted for them.

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