What I Learned From Our New Garbage Rules

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What I Learned From Our New Garbage Rules

13 Sep, 2017
JoAnne
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So this is the second time I have intended to blog on pee and poo but alas, other more important topics have come to mind! Sorry, I imagine you are disappointed. Well, in theory part of this blog could be about it anyways since I will talking about garbage! Garbage? Yes! Garbage.

Let me preface this by saying that I have been spoiled. I have lived in the same two towns which are within four miles of each other for almost 13 years. The first house I was in for almost 12 years literally took whatever I put out. I kid you not! I could have put anything or anyone on the street and those wonderful men would have taken it! lol. Joking aside, there would be times where I would get a note about something but they still took the item. We did not have “bulk” days or events so we could literally put a couch out every week if we wanted to. Yeah…so great, right? So spoiled! Let me also share that I did recycle but not as much as I would have liked. They did not take everything and they only did it every other week which was not really practical for a family of 11.

So needless to say when I moved to my new home just over a year ago I imagined it would be the same way and it was, well kinda. There were definitely items that they eventually would not take – i.e. anything with a cord (electronics) but otherwise, I continued to be a spoiled princess with however much garbage I wanted and there was a lot, all the time. I was also extremely spoiled with the fact that recycling was taken every week. It was and is bliss! If I was bad at recycling I thank my children for picking up where I am slacking since they were very conscience of recycling thanks to what they learned at school!

I think part of the reason I always had so much garbage – especially at the new house – was because I read that book, “The Magic Art of Tidying” and I discovered that so many things in my house did not give me joy! So I would try to sell it then I would try to put it out for free and when no one took it I would either donate it or just chuck it. The is besides the fact that we have 11 people in our home and two who are still in diapers and two still wear pull-ups, so…well you can imagine the amount of garbage we have!

So needless to say when we were alerted to a new garbage “system” and rules I was not a happy camper. While I loved that they gave us these beautiful new bins – 1 for recycling and 1 for garbage I was not happy with the fact that: 1. I had garbage bins I paid for – one very expensive (and garbage bins are not actually resale friendly if ya know what I mean!)  and  2. with the new rules we were told that we would only be able to fit ALL OF OUR GARBAGE in one bin OR we would have to pay $3 bucks PER EXTRA GARBAGE BAG. I will be honest I was kinda freaking out since we had a track record of about two extra bags per week! There was NO way I could fit it all in one bin! I already had the same size bin so I just knew.

So what did I do? I do what everyone else does, I complain on social media! I became a garbage troll per se. I was watching all the threads and anytime anyone was posting about how mad they were with the new system I would give a big freaking LIKE and then comment to my heart’s delight. We, the people of Forks, were one. We united in our garbage woes! No one was getting in the way of our garbage complaining! I wrote to people of the public works, I called and I went in person. I even went so far as to buy 8 tags for $24 bucks in preparation of the new rules. The way I looked at it was we had 8 weeks until we would be offered the option to buy a second bin (and I knew I needed a second bin) so I figured if I was lucky I would be able to only have one extra bag per week until then.

So… ya know what happened? The week before the new rules went into affect I had my garage sale, I put a million things out for free and they took it! And then, I loaded my garbage up until thy kingdom come for the last day and I watched it all leave the property (likely with a glass of chard since I put it out the night before). “They took it all! Thank you Jesus!” I screamed with excitement the next day and then I started on a mission: mission downsize garbage.

I knew I had the tags; it was not about the tags though – it was about can I freaking do it? Can I actually fit all of our garbage in one bin? Now, with the new recycling rules and bins I may have a chance… so I was VERY diligent about putting any of the NEWLY accepted recycled items in that bin and then, I kid you not, I was literally acting like a human garbage compactor. I assigned one broom (should have given that b#$%# a name for all she did for me!) and I used the other end to stuff garbage down into my garbage bag.

When garbage day came – and it just so happens to be 8 days instead of 7 due to the holiday!- I was FREAKING ELATED that we could fit everything – no problem – in one bin for garbage and one bin for recycling. I’ll be honest; I felt like superwoman. I made my man feel like superman. We did it! We ACTUALLY did it! I never knew something as garbage could make me so happy but alas it did, it really REALLY really did.

So then I was sold. I was reading the threads; I was driving around and seeing other people (with less kids) put out more garbage. I was shocked. I kept thinking, “What is in there, bodies?” By the way, not judging, just wondering. We don’t put grass or anything in our garbage so I was perplexed. I decided that I should post my one bin to show that I did it which was my way of kinda saying, “oh, my bad, maybe I was wrong!” My hashtag was #OneBinToRuleThemAll which I found cute since I am a die hard Lord of The Rings fan.

From then on out I was googling: garbage disposeable, garbage compactors, composts. You name it, I googled it! I also went to the dollar store and bought a ton of plates. You see, in the past I had used paper plates. It just made sense for us. I figured they are biodegradable so who cares? But I used them for three meals a day! So yeah, so hypothetically 99 plates a day! What the what?! So after all this I basically got used to running my dishwasher once a day instead of every other day and got used to using plastic plates for the kiddos.

So…long story short, what does this all mean? It means that I was wrong. They were right. It means that if I really cared about my community I would have attended the meetings where they talk about all of this stuff! Today was the second garbage collection and I am proud to say without anything: composts, compactors (besides my arms), disposers we had even less garbage than last week. We could have fit another BIG bag in there easily.

For me this was not just a lesson in garbage this was a lesson overall which I taught my son today. My son, who is now doing online public school for the first time, contacted me and needed help. I told him I was working (for my job in the other room and I could not help him right then an there). I went to see him and assessed the situation and I told him, “Maybe you are underestimating what you can do?” And I gave him the example of the garbage and my scenario. He, in turn, went on to finish the assignment without my help. I was thrilled.

For me this whole garbage “saga” has turned into a great blessing. Yes, I still have my 8 garbage tags which I am sure I will use for kids parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas BUT there is no amount of money (aka $24 bucks for 8 tags) I could pay for the lesson I learned and that is that I am capable of so much more than we think we are. I assumed I would need tags. I assumed I would need another bin. All I can say is don’t assume and trust the experts (Forks Public Works!) and trust in yourself. You have more give! Squeeze yourself like a lemon and you may surprised that there is more to lemonade there.

God Bless,

JoAnne

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