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November 29th, 2005

Windy Trash Day

Today was Windy Trash Day at the Ping’s Virginia headquarters. Windy Trash Day is a day that comes, often unannounced, and wreaks havoc on the neighborhood’s trash recepticle system. It’s not unusual to come home and find one’s trash can blown a block and a half away on days like today. And since the Home Depot near us doesn’t seem to sell trash cans with lids that are connected to their bottoms, frequently lids are separated from their lower-halves.

What’s worse, though, is that a lot of people, for whatever reason, decide not to use trash cans. They just throw their bags out onto the curb, which may be normal in the Big City, but in the suburbs, it can cause some issues. Sure, there’s the stink and the fact that my dog has to stop at every single pile of trash bags to sniff (she walks right by trash cans with well-secured lids), but on Windy Trash Days, bags that aren’t tied tightly will spew forth their contents onto the street. By this morning, it was only dryer sheets, but I fear it could be much worse by the time this evening rolls around.

On days like today, we often opt to just wait until next week to put our trash out. Just being two of us, we don’t accumulate all that much trash from week to week (our recycling is more significant), but for those families with kids, they have no option. They have to hope and pray that the God of Wind is kind to them and doesn’t blow their trash can beyond where they can find it.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday November 29, 2005 -- 12:51:24 pm
"I knew I was an adult when I went to the store and bought my first trash can. I felt so responsible. Something about the power, knowing that I would now either have to take out the trash myself or delegate it to another, my wife, and one day, my kids. Either way, my mom wasn't going to do it for me. I'd found out on the first windy day that I'd been had; the detached lids blew away and trash was everywhere. When I went to solve the problem, I found out that the big box chains don't sell appropriate cans. Nobody warned me. I began to alter my behavior and not take trash out on windy days. But some of my neighbors, I assume in protest of buying the same can with a detached lid over and over again that just doesn't work, refused to use cans at all. That becomes a problem for everyone. But with no one to turn to for a solution, it's only a matter of time before I do the same. Why won't the big box retailers sell us what we want--a garbage can with an attached lid that won't blow open? I thought there was choice in America!!"

Garbage can issues in the suburbs, next, on This American Life.

FROM: COD [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday November 29, 2005 -- 5:08:18 pm
If you live way out in suburbs like I do - this is not an issue. I haul my own garbage to the landfill.

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