Waste Not, Want Not

I’ve had my complaints in the past with Sunset Scavenger Company, the SF garbage collection agency. But the refuse company doesn’t seem to refuse much anymore (though why they won’t accept polystyrene (aka Styrofoam®) for recycling, I don’t know. Styrofoam happens. I don’t believe the claim that food-soiled Styrofoam can not be economically sustainable.). The business of waste management seems to be taking more progressive, environmentally-concerned actions.

All that to say: I want to compliment my neighborhood’s regular route driver, nee garbageman, in the Outer Richmond’s Fulton Street corridor. Not only does he take great care that no trash is left behind on the sidewalk, he repositions the garbage carts in the most functional manner:


See how the carts are positioned back-to-back as an easy set-up for the roll back to the garage? A minor detail, sure. Easily overlooked by the busy and unobservant. But I appreciate anyone in whatever job who takes the time to pay attention to such a biomechanical detail, benefiting hundreds of fellow citizens. Does anyone else notice? Does this happen in other neighborhoods? Is this a company-wide policy, or is my neighborhood garbageman simply taking personal pride in the details without expecting any thanks?

For more ruminations (albeit in fiction) on the waste management world and its cultural and metaphysical ramifications, along with baseball, marriage, the Cold War, and environmental art, read Don DeLillo’s Underworld–a masterpiece.

3 Comments so far

  1. Victoria E (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    The garabage man for the yoga studio that I work at is by no means as nice, at least he wasn’t last week. This week, the cans were lined up nicely. I live in Outer Richmond as well, but I don’t think we have the same trash guy. Of course, I live in an apartment building and rarely notice when the cans are out or not.

  2. Adam (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

    Hmm, maybe I’ll have a look at that. I read Ratner’s Star a long while ago and could barely make head or tail of it, but I’ve heard people say Underworld is both more accessible and better.

    And yes, it’s always nice to see people who actually think about what they do. Three cheers for your local garbageman, wherever he may be.

  3. Mark (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 9:33 am

    I’m also in the Outer Richmond.
    A couple of months ago we forgot to put our garbage out. Instead of just driving by, the guy goes and gets the cans from the alley beside our house. Pretty cool! He didn’t have to do that. The easy thing to do was to just keep moving on. But instead he took the extra effort make the collection.
    A small thing to be sure. But I appreciate people who do a good job instead of good enough.

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