Saturday, October 4, 2014
The Overfull Wheelie-Bin Blues
Our upstairs neighbors appear to be moving out. That in itself is not a problem -- we barely even say hello to them. The problem is that they're throwing away massive quantities of stuff.
We share garbage and recycling bins with them, and we have weekly garbage pickup on Friday mornings. For the last two weeks, Dave and I have contended with an overfull garbage bin that we regularly have to tamp down in order to cram in our little grocery bag of garbage. Eventually it's so full that the lid stands open and the garbage protrudes (like the bin on the left in the top photo).
This has been only a mildly irritating temptation to neighborhood foxes -- until yesterday. The garbage men came about 7 a.m., and I thought, "Whew! We finally have an empty garbage bin." And then, when I left for work at 8 a.m., I went to move it back to its position in the alley beside the house and it felt really heavy. I looked inside and it was full again.
I was furious. Why, if our neighbors had more bags of garbage, didn't they get them downstairs before the garbage men came -- rather than making us live with it for another week?
Not only that, but they seem to be throwing away everything. Perfectly good towels. Shoes still in boxes. A tennis racket. Stuff that could easily be taken to the charity shop. The waste makes me insane.
And another thing -- why is it always my job to put the trash cans back into the alley after the garbage men come? Otherwise they'd sit on the sidewalk in front of the house all week. Far be it from the neighbors to touch the garbage cans after they have filled them to the brim.
I take comfort from the fact that this situation ought to end fairly soon. But we have a neighbor on the other side who also uses our recycling bins, because she believes her alley is too steeply paved to contain a bin of its own. I don't know where she puts her garbage -- maybe it goes in our can, too.
So I'm basically managing the garbage cans for three households.
How did this happen?
(Photo: These bins look like ours, but they're not ours -- they're for an apartment complex in North London that I came across on one of my walks.)