Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Garbage in... (211.0)

"Since when did they start charging for the bus? Didn't we used to ride that shit to school every morning for free?"

-- Jay

It feels silly to me to pay for trash collection, after years of living in a village where that was just part of what your taxes paid for, then living on a college campus where the trash magically vanished, then living in a fraternity house and then apartments with dumpsters that someone else paid for. But, in this area, there's no municipal trash collection. You pay a monthly fee so a commercial hauler will come pick up your garbage, and you pay for "trash tags" that cover the municipality's costs for the dump.

For a long time after I bought my house, I just kept putting my trash out, with the trash tags that the former owner had left, and then with new ones I bought at the store. The trash company kept picking it up. After a few years, they stopped, and when I called to ask how come they missed me, they explained that I wasn't paying their monthly fee. I said, "So even though I paid for the trash tags, I have to pay again?" Yup. She was very nice, and told me they weren't going to retroactively charge me for the whole time I'd been using their service without paying their fee.

But, I really just don't generate that much garbage, especially since more and more is recyclable, and as the monthly price crept up (it's now $16 and change per month), it really felt like I wasn't getting my money's worth, when most weeks there's nothing for them to pick up. As I explained to them, I felt silly paying them to not pick up garbage. I always wait until the trash can fills up in the garage before putting it out, since I've got to pay for those trash tags for each can-full, too, so putting out a little garbage every Monday makes no sense.

Turns out they have a once-per-month pickup option, which is $10 and change instead, and I've just opted for that. I don't know how strict they are about once a month, but I guess I'll find out.

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