Monday, May 5, 2008

Trash Heap season

Do you remember the Trash Heap?

If you lived through the 80's and were at all exposed to Fraggle Rock, you will.

It's Trash Heap season here in Grand Junction, CO. The city likes to call it "Spring Clean Up Week". It's that week, occurring once each year, when every single family in the city is supposed to remove every ounce of garbage from their homes, and then pile it all on the curb. Amazingly, I think every family actually does this. City workers will be around sometime this week to haul it off.

It's a great idea. I won't complain. We have our own heap right out there in front of the house - the old lawn mower that stopped functioning altogether, a gigantic pile of branches and sticks and other debris from around the yard. There was a dog house out there for about an hour.

Which takes me to the part of Trash Heap week that kind of gets under my skin. It should be assumed that anything you put out in front of your house for the city to haul to the dump will be searched through, thoroughly inspected, and likely hauled off to take up space at someone else's house. I don't know why this bothers me. I have no problem with yard saling, and that's essentially what this is, only it's all free stuff. Last year we put a bunch of junk out. By the time the city guys came around, there were only a couple of branches left. A broken down decorative flower cart, entirely dismantled, now belongs to someone else. There may have been another lawn mower, I can't remember. The dog house wasn't there an hour before some guy came by, stuck it on the hood of his jeep, and drove away (he didn't tie it down or anything! It was rather odd looking.) Something about watching all these people come by and search through ours and our neighbors' trash just skeeves me out. And what start out as gigantic piles of discarded crap end up practically disappearing before Trash Heap Week even officially starts.

Not to mention the fact that people have NO PROBLEM stopping in the middle of the flippin' road to search trash heaps. On some streets the trash heaps consume so much of the street that two cars cannot drive past one another. One waits while other passes. Not a problem, until Jim Bob and his pickup, pulling a flat bed trailer, stops in the middle of the f-ing road to have him a gander at all that treasure. Then you're stuck just sitting there, waiting for him to pile more sh#$ into his trailer full of junk... err, treasure... and drive on.

I feel sorry for anyone that comes here from out of town during Trash Heap Week. They must think we're an awfully disgusting bunch of folks, having all that junk piled out on the curb. Or maybe it depends on where they're from. Some of 'em would probably think we're the coolest town in the world, holding a week-long free yard sale like that. I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Seriously, it's such a special occasion for this redneck town that the local newspaper ran a story on it on the front page of the local section.

It's just a shame our trash heaps aren't full of all the wisdom and sage advice like the Fraggles'. I have several questions I'd love to hear her answer to.



Frugal Finds said...

Julie, When we lived in town, we used to put all our stuff on the curb for "spring cleanup week" and then sit on the porch with a cold drink and watch the pile disappear. We used to take bets on how what would go first. You are not the only redneck town... it happens everywhere across the country!
Look at the good side. At least the stuff will be used and not taken to a landfill.
Frugal Carol

Deb said...


Amber said...

Here in FL the trash is picked up by city trucks. Every thursday is "bulk trash day" people throw away leaves and tree branches and anything they might not be able to get in to their recepticles on their regular trash day. So on any given thursday you can drive around town and "dumpster dive" as my DH likes to call it. One person's trash and such.....
I even got the poor city trash guys to help me carry our old mattress and boxspring from the bedroom to the trash truck..

The best part is that it is all included in our water bill. Very nice.