Neat and Tidy Trash

I have this thing about trash day.  Weekly trash day has somehow evolved into a task of passion and art.  And neatness. Trash. Must. Be. Tidy.  

There are rules:

  1. Garbage can handles must be turned toward the road for easy pick up by trash picker upper.  Each can must be completely closed and not overly heavy. 
  2. Unwieldy or heavy items must be placed on top of said garbage cans.
  3. Plastic garbage bags must be a minimum of 33 gallons (preferable Glad Force Flex).  No mismatched bags or small bags allowed.  Any smaller bags must be placed inside of a larger bag.
  4. All bags must be neatly placed next to garbage cans.
  5. Recyclables are to be neatly placed in smaller, white 13 gallon tall kitchen garbage bags.  Only recyclables are allowed in the white bags.  This includes plastic bottles and cans.  Two recycle bins should be used if needed.

I get all geared up to take the trash out beginning Sunday morning.  This includes giving my son explicit instructions such as:

  • Get all the trash out of your room. Don’t make me go in there.
  • Put all the trash out to the road; you don’t need to organize it; just haul it out there. (We have a long driveway).
  • Get the trash from the basement and don’t forget the check the downstairs bathroom for dead rodents.  These need to be double bagged using grocery bags before throwing them into regular garbage bag.  (I do not need detailed descriptions on what you threw away).
  • I would prefer this be completed before 11 pm on Sunday night since this is about the time I am getting ramped up to start my garbage collection duties.

Then there are a lot of garbage associated duties that I have to do:

  1. Empty the refrigerator of all leftovers from the week. All week long I put leftovers in plastic containers and ziplock baggies and then I throw them all out in the trash on Sunday night. It’s a family tradition.  And I have to remember to check for expired food as well as any leftover fast food and pizza.
  2. Empty all three bathroom trash cans and put in new bags.  I prefer Target bags for this; they are by far the best.  Wal-Mart has gotten so stingy on the quality of their bags.  I don’t think my husband realizes the only reason I shop at Target is for their plastic shopping bags.
  3. Check the cat litter box.  I never have to empty it because he is very good about going outside but I have an inside litter box that I have to check at least once a month or so just to be polite.
  4. Empty the trash in the office.  (Trust me, this is all shredded paper – my husband is overly cautious).
  5. Go behind Michael anyway because he is not going to follow my instructions to my satisfaction.  This will include going through some of the trash to remove the obvious plastic bottles and cans and comes with a lecture that we recycle and need to do our part for the environment.
  6. Go out to the road around midnight and carefully arrange and place all items in a neat, orderly fashion following the above rules. Hope for cars traveling down the road to use as a source of light. This usually takes about 4 or 5 more trips back and forth which counts as exercise.

Now if my son would only remember to bring in the empty cans when he gets home from school.  All cans must be returned (neatly and facing the correct way next to the garage) by 5:00 pm on trash day.  This never changes week to week and yet I still have to mom bitch.  Maybe my family doesn’t appreciate my trash rules but I bet our garbage collector does.  Plus he gets cookies at Christmas.

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