Thursday, 28 May 2015

Rubbish Receptacles...

OK, so back in the continental United States you get in trouble if you dump your personal trash in dumpsters. We used to get the sideways-glance-raised-eyebrows from our neighbors when they found out we drove our trash to the dump transfer station--and then we got the condescending half-smile when I explained that it was so we could make sure we were recycling as much as possible. One of my neighbors exclaimed as she brought her perfectly-pink-gel-manicured-hand to her chest that she couldn't even think about ever putting a bag of trash in her car--gasp!

Here on my rock, there is no curbside recycling and no magic trucks that make the trash disappear for a small monthly fee. There are dumpsters. Lots of dumpsters. They are landmarks, actually. Like if I say, "Let's meet at the Red Hook dumpsters," everyone knows where that is. They probably would even say, "Cool. I need to take the trash today." I have my favorite dumpsters and there are some that I never use. Usually, this has to do with how difficult--read dangerous--is the driving and parking situation. There are 2 dumpsters in particular that are on the side of a busy road intersection and, realistically, there is no parking for them. Which means that people get very inventive. And when I say inventive, I mean ridiculous and/or stupid and/or insane and/or illogical and often hilarious.

Now these dumpsters are not clean or organized or regulated. Well, there is a sign that tells what is acceptable and what's not. But usually, there is a pile of the not-accepted articles at the base of the sign. There are chickens and cats living communally and I prefer not to think of the rodent life that is present. There are often odors that defy explanation, and mountains of cardboard because nobody, except apparently me, flattens boxes. It's shocking to us newbies--even to those of us who were kind-of connected to our personal waste generation stateside. And without any real large scale recycling on the island and a landfill that's become a toxic, unstable mountain, it's pretty tragic.

But, like all things here, there is opportunity around every corner. There are business opportunities...
And, shopping is a short list of what I or my immediate friends have found at our dumpsters just recently:

  • kids bike (in perfect condition)
  • wrought-iron lamp (with nice lampshade)
  • Rubbermaid plastic bins
  • tools
  • contractor-type hammer drill and circular saw (working)
  • plywood (almost full sheet)
  • wicker chairs
  • stainless steel lobster pot
  • fishing equipment
  • case of UNOPENED assorted liquor (score of the century I say)
And inspiration for communication that just doesn't happen stateside: in the same day, one of my friends texted me to let me know that she'll be late for carpool because she forgot her trash was in the back seat until she got to school and smelled it, so she had to run down the road to the dumpsters; and, another proudly published pictures on Facebook of her kid riding around on his dumpster bike. It's all good.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Trading squirrels for iguanas...

July 12--that's the day I left my "stateside" life behind. It's one of those dates that sticks in the mind--anniversaries of life-altering events. The house sold, our belongings in a shipping container (somewhere but not altogether sure where), and the kids chillin' with grandpa for a couple more weeks in civilization--we drugged the dog, stuffed her in a carry-on bag and got on a plane that would take us South...16 degrees to be the next adventure in our lives.
Nobody could have adequately prepared us for what was ahead...and our adventure continues...