Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, Rubbish!

No matter what the weather—hot, rainy, cold—I would not want to be a garbage collector. I’m talking trash, not the type of garbage people spew from their mouths, though neither sounds appetizing.

The noise and pollution from the truck, the assortment of smells, inclement weather, and steep hills make me wonder why anyone would want the job. Yet we have five different garbage-hauling companies throwing stuff into their trucks on a weekly basis.

Why do so many companies vie to collect our refuse? Because it’s profitable! My junk is sort of their treasure.

As a Neighborhood Watch block captain for 11 years, I sometimes serve law-related services. But other times I serve as a complaint department.

“Auntie,” they say, “what are you gonna do about all these loud, disturbing, stinky, polluting garbage trucks on our street? Why can’t we have just one?”

Good questions.

So I went to work. I talked with my waste collector’s sales rep, and she came up with rates for my 41-household street. Once presented to my group, however, I learned that people didn’t want to change—even if it meant saving money.

Resistance to change was due to loyalty. Loyalty! Being loyal is so important to this old auntie, so I wasn’t sore for spending all that time on our trashy project.

Neighbors had made their choice to employ a particular company and over time found them reliable and considerate. One service knocks on their customers’ doors if their garbage hasn’t been set out. Another will search in the backyard to find the garbage cans!

Even I have left cookies and cheesecake in containers with utensils hanging in plastic bags from my tree for my hard-working guys, because I appreciate what they do.

It would be great, however, if our City would direct specific waste collection companies to pick up in specific areas. It’s the eartha thing to do!
(Puzzle piece number 20 of 38.)

copyright © 2008 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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