No one thinks much about garbage or what happens to it once it goes out to the garbage dump. When I lived in the city I put the garbage bin at the street curb on my garbage day, the city garbage trucks came & took it away, that was it. Now that I live out in the country, garbage day has taken on a new meaning.
I remember after moving to the country to live with Dean, our first garbage day together was not what I thought it would be. I knew being in the country no garbage trucks picked up the garbage, we had to take it to the garbage dump ourselves. We got the garbage loaded onto the truck and headed to the garbage dump. We got there and it seemed normal to start with but once we threw the garbage on the pile Dean says “it’s time to go shopping”. I thought he meant we were going into town to buy groceries. That was not what he meant! We left the one area of the garbage dump and drove over to another area, the wood area. Dean got out of the truck and started walking around and looking at stuff. Of course I got out of the truck and asked what he was doing. He replied “shopping”. Confused I got back into the truck & let him continue.
Dean got into the truck and he explained things to me. The garbage dump is set-up with different sections – garbage, wood, metals and ashes. Dean looks through the wood & metal areas to see if anything is useful and if he can use it at home, he takes it. He told me since he was a young boy his family has always “shopped” at the garbage dump. He told me they found all kinds of useful things at the dump. I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. That day he didn’t bring anything home.
I decided to ask coworkers and (country) friends their thoughts on “shopping” at the garbage dump. Oh my goodness, I was surprised by their answers. Apparently everyone does it! Living in a small town, going to the garbage dump was something they all looked forward to and lots of towns allow this. Wow eh?! I talked to Dean’s sister and found out that as children they didn’t go out much and going to the garbage dump was something they looked forward to doing. They got very excited going there.
Talking to Dean I found out that over the years they found all kinds of useful things there. Some things they found have been a vacuum cleaner (just needed filters to be cleaned and it worked), 3 wheel bike, 2×6 & 2×4 pieces of wood (new wood-never been used), antique sewing machine, Santa outdoor light ornament, lots of metal for welding, steel cabinets & a lilac tree! Apparently people leave newer, good quality items off to the side for other people to take. At first I was disgusted about taking things out of the garbage but Dean said things are in separate piles and it’s metal and wood he usually checks.
Well it’s been five years that I’ve lived here and after these weekly trips to the garbage dump, I’ve brought a few things home. I never thought I’d be saying that but it’s true. I’ve found a couple garden ornaments, an outdoor fire pit, windows and lots of wood pieces. Going to the garbage dump is an interesting part of living on an acreage with Dean!