Monday, August 21, 2006

Let's Get Trashed

O.K. The title to this post is a bit of false advertising. Below are not my ruminations on the merits of a booze-up (though they are indeed many). There are instead two observations concerning garbage.

First, in the wake of the aforementioned "hippie Christmas" here in Madison, the streets are again clear of the garbage mounds...with a few exceptions. For you see, the city requires an additional payment to dispose of appliances. It seems that you must pay for anything larger than, say, a toaster. Instead of the garbage heaps, therefore, the streets are dotted with microwaves, fridges, air conditioning units, computer equipment and other electronic gee-gaws that have gone to Appliance Heaven. They all bear a bright green sticker as evidence of their un-pick-up-able nature.

It is quite a "catch-22" if you think about it. In fact, in the book Catch-22, the dead man in Yossarian's tent is somewhat of a metaphor for these appliances. In the case of the dead man, there were seemingly good administrative reasons why the man could not be moved; no one knew what they were, but they must have been frightfully good.

With the appliances, the people who threw them out have moved, possibly out of town, so they're out. The landlord won't touch it, much less pay for it, because he/she did not throw it out to begin with. Lastly, the city will not pick up any appliance that has not been paid for. See what I mean? The streets of Madison are dotted with little curbside monuments to governmental and systemic ineffeciency.

Observation number two comes in the form of something I noticed about myself. Through no extra effort on my part, I am actually quite environmentally friendly.

First, and this is the big one, I do not own a car and have not in three years. I go everywhere via public transportation. I'll bet that even Al Gore cannot say that. Second, I recycle/reuse almost everything possible. Madison's recycling program takes almost anything (except appliances, apparently) and being a swinging bachelor (ahem), I create very little trash. The bulk of the trash I do create is the recyclable kind (empty beer cans and the cases that they came in, mainly). Thirdly, I wash my clothes in a high-effeciency, double load commerical washer that uses less water and less soap, therefore creating less toxic (especially from my socks) run-off.

So there, Al Gore, your truths (if they indeed be that) are not inconvienent for me at all. Nice try at making me feel guilty, though.

4 comments:

Aaron Cynic said...

Al Gore aside, I wish I was in Madison right now. I could use some new electronics, or slightly used stuff that is good for smashing into pieces. Damn kids not appreciating what they have. :)

Matt Jenks said...

My buddy Craig would go nucking futs with that amount of stuff sitting around for the taking. He'd be stuffing as much of it in his Ford Mustang as he could...and then he'd be coming back for more!

I haven't seen "Inconvenient Truth", but I do know that detergents these days aren't as deleterious and some would make out. But then again, all those "chemicals" that we put of food to make it healthier and safer are horrible entities straight from the devil's asshole, anyway.

Never mind that there are over 1000 (untested) chemicals in that cup of Starbucks you're swilling down. Hippie.

Good day.

Anna said...

Well, I have an oscillating fan I could drop off in Madison, add to the social landscape. It's almost as if appliances have replaced lawn ornaments, and that, my dear William, scares me.
As for Al Gore, I'm currently working on a hypothesis: The creators/writers of South Park are psychic. If this hypothesis proves true, which it has quite a few times over i.e. the recent Mel Gibson freak out and the episode from 2004 entitled "The Passion of the Jew," in which Mel Gibson experiences an eerily similar freak out, the in a matter of two years give or take a few months, Al Gore will be on a speaking tour discussing the dangers of Manbearpig.

Matt Jenks said...

Wait...does this mean frat guys are going to start stealing defunct microwaves off people's front steps and going out on road trips where they take pictures of the microwave and send it back to the owners?