Sometimes, unknowingly, we make people’s jobs harder than necessary. A little effort on our part makes their job easier – and in turn, every involved benefits. That’s what this column is all about.
Garbage men and women are some of our society’s unsung heroes. They do a job undesirable to most. Without them, garbage would pile up and we’d likely end up resorting back to just tossing crap out of our windows. Their work is labor intensive, smelly and full of gross moments. But like most who are dependable and always follow through, they’re taken for granted. We rarely think about the difficulties of their job and ways in which we’re making it even more challenging.
So, here are some easy things we can all do to quit screwing with our garbage collectors and make their job easier.
Place garbage out on the curb or right next to the street
Having to travel extra steps to get your bin and put him back, can really add up when there are several hundred houses on the route. Also, it wastes time and they’re on a schedule, dammit.
Try to avoid keeping your garbage in the bin/can all week
Collect it the night before. That stuff smells like shit, yo!
Don’t pack garbage too tight
A bin packed too tight is hard to empty. And frustrating…
If your garbage bin/can is broken, get a new one
Broken containers are difficult to lift and empty. Help streamline the process by getting a non busted garbage bin/can. Also, collectors aren’t allowed to just assume your shitty container is meant for trash, so leave a note if you want them to take it.
Consolidate your garbage
Don’t put out a bunch of random items, or use a bunch of teeny tiny shopping bags. Consolidate as much as possible so the pickup is easier and quicker.
Don’t use cheap ass garbage bags
No need to get the gucci of garbage bags, but avoid skimping on quality just to save a few cents. Shitty bags break pretty easily, and cause a huge mess.
Compost if you can
If you can compost your grass/leaves/tree branches, etc., do it. It takes up a lot of space in landfills and is super heavy.
Rent a dumpster for large jobs and construction sites
No one has time to make 18 trips collecting your drywall, wood riddled with nails and ridiculous quantities of random objects.
Don’t assume they’ll automatically take your giant piece of garbage
If you’re throwing away something that’s huge, i.e. refrigerator or couch, schedule a pickup or check with your local waste management to check the dealio on what they will and will not accept.
You not taking the time to separate means one of two things will happen: someone else has to separate it or more recyclables end up in landfills. Not sure where something goes? Check here.
Don’t throw away anything toxic
Obviously you’re being a major dick to the environment, but also to the garbage collector by putting their health and safety at risk. I heard a story where after a can of something toxic was smushed, its contents shot out into the garbageman’s face. After inhaling the chemicals, he went into a seizure and died. Don’t do this. Don’t kill your garbageman.
Don’t stab the garbage collector
If you need to throw away broken glass or something else that’s dangerously shark and pokey, wrap it to prevent edges from injuring collection crew. You can also place it to the side in a tied bag with a note warning crew to be careful. Here are tips on disposing of needles and knives.
Wrap up super gross things
Anything involving blood or poop. Definitely poop.