Well, it is the season … for putting out your bulk rubbish.
We live in a funny age, never before has there been the need for so many ‘extra’ rubbish collections. Who remembers growing up with just one of the small round tin bins? The rubbish men would run from house to house, with an even bigger plastic version of what we would put on the verge. They would throw two, maybe three, maybe even four bins worth of rubbish into the bin they carried on their shoulder before manually dumping it into the back of the truck that was being driven (usually by a big fat guy who wouldn’t run!) Where was all our rubbish in those days? Imagine a rubbish man running (just that is enough!) around with 3 or 4 wheelie bins worth of rubbish on his back!!! Now we have 2 full sized wheelie bins for all our rubbish, an occasional trip to the tip as well as our annual bulk rubbish collection!
On this topic have you ever seen Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff“? I have posted it here before, but it’s worth another look.
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It was fun, a few weeks ago when our area had bulk rubbish. Christine and I got up early one Saturday morning before the kids were even stirring. I took the dog for a walk while Christine began the clean up around the yard. Whilst on my walk I discovered a fantastic compost bin as well as 2 big sheets of marine ply maybe 2.5M by 1.5M! I ran home, grabbed the car and went back and grabbed it. As I was off-loading my find, Christine was busy dragging out stuff onto the verge, some of it admittedly was stuff I had brought in last time…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure they say 🙂 We laugh at people in their utes driving up and down the street filling their cars with other peoples ‘rubbish’ but maybe they are the ones with the last laugh. As they never need to spend $500 on that swing set for the kids because they found a perfectly good one on the roadside. They laugh as they remove the broken keyboard from the perfectly good monitor and replace it with the perfect keyboard they found attached to a broken monitor! Where does most of this stuff go? Well after the guys at the tip (who are heroes in my mind!) have sorted the good for the crap…it gets put into landfill, mostly. Our region is just experimenting with a massive composting factory, millions of bucks to avoid so much land fill. Great stuff, but you should see the environmental footprint it creates to keep the engines running 24/7 so the fumes remain neutral! I know, I know, it sounds hopeless and negative, but I guess I don’t see a future in better ways to deal with our rubbish. I only see a future in learning to create less at a domestic level – YES domestic. Because when Mr Production Plant owner has a revelation about how much ‘stuff’ he puts in his household bin, I think…I hope…he would carry that over into his factory waste.
So next time you go to throw out something, I dare you to ask yourself NOT which bin should this go into, NOR do I need to throw this out? BUT rather, did I need to buy what was in this box in the first place, could I have made something? Borrowed it? Done without it? Got it second hand? I know this is the question that perplexes me always too late. That my purchasing of stuff is directly related to my environmental footprint. “stuff in – stuff out”. And I just love ‘stuff’ too much!
I get a pleasure from buying stuff, all that lovely packaging, the sound of unwrapping the box…the smell of the fresh plastic…
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I can even justify stuff. Take for example my new water-pump, lost f nice smelly plastic in that new box hmmm But I justified it ok…prices are low now, I wash my diesel in rain water now, our veggies are watered in rainwater now, we wash our clothes in rain water now… all great, but I still loved the power of the purchase more than all these sweet reason to buy such a ‘nobel’ toy!
We yesterday I put my guilt to rest…for while at least, I was out with master collector and bio-diesel buddy Andy Longhurst and we decided to drive the streets near his house where bulk rubbish is happening, my discoveries?
1) Another great compost bin, this one with a liquid catchment and tap on the bottom.
2) Two good milk crates for the shed, storage and seating 🙂
3) A pair of blundstone boots in my size.
4) A couple of jerry can holders for my car…admittedly they were in Andy’s shed…but he was going to get rid of them!
So call me a scab – but I’m having fun!
5 thoughts on “Bulk Rubbish Discoveries”
My coffee roasting bench – kerbside
My Scrollsaw table’s steel frame – kerbside
My GMC Garden vac/blower (it only sucks – not blows) – kerbside
I love this post, Scott, even if you misspelled ‘noble’ (although the name of Alfred Nobel does convey its own kudos!)
You know me – I have spent the past 15 years down-shifting, recycling, refurbishing, scrounging, DIY-ing, happily going without and being just conscientious enough to silence my bothersome conscience on matters of social and environmental justice.
If I could incorporate all this on a resume, I would, because, yeah, I’ve often been proud and satisfied about the lifestyle choices we have made and the richness of the journey for all of us.
You are serious about this and I want to affirm all the juice you have for these really important things and tell you I admire you.
I am struggling with my conscience at present (again! still!!) because of the stuff that we are now accumulating that relates directly to having a qualdriplegic family member. I never thought I would see the day when our household would incorporate so many gadgets and devices and appliance and STUFF – hoists, computers, power doors, wide doors, reclining chairs, modified vehicles, environmental control units, even the dreaded air conditioning.
The fact that I am so bothered by this is probably sign of some pathology in me somewhere and I’ll probably get over it eventually.
In the meantime, I have just finished building a really cool little shelter shed for the power generator entirely using ‘waste’ building materials from Christopher’s bedroom renovation. Sweet.
Thanks Gary! Yes, I can understand something of your tension. I feel it every time I drop my kids off at their private school, and I have more choice in that than you do with Christopher I think! I love your passion, you wont just let this stuff go ‘coz it’s too hard or even if you feel you have compromised in it, you are like a a dog to a bone (in a good sense!) and that keeps others like me on our toes as well! So keep it up my friend.
I know one young man who is benefiting from both the ‘toys’ but also all your thinking around these subjects, best of both worlds for him…and your family if you ask me!
Nobel Noble…hmmm never coold spell 🙂
What I found from those bulk rubbish outside my home are:
Grandma’s lampshade dating the 1920’s and an old gold pendant. We just have to salvage stuff at times.