Bulky Waste


Based on the title of this posting you may wonder if David Sedaris has inhabited my body and is about to unleash one of his fabulously funny/creepy essays about bodily functions or dead bodies in the trash of Manhattan. If you haven’t read them, you should. But, alas, no. It’s just the Girlchild, and I’m loving the onset of Spring in my little ‘dale.

Along with the robins that are infesting the overgrown holly bushes in my backyard and the about-to-bloom daffodils planted by previous owners, there is another sign in my town that spring has sprung. Large, random, creative-mind-inspiring piles of amazing junk piled up on the curbs.

Bulky Waste Days. Me in my minivan and a whole lot of folks with flatbed trailers cruising up and down the streets of Springdale looking for treasure. Go ahead and laugh! It’s there, I tell you! You would not believe all the cool stuff I lugged home in less than a week! Awash with covert anticipation, I played the game of driving just slowly enough to check out the piles while attempting to look like I was not actually just driving around for the sole purpose of looking at trash. Of course, everyone who puts their cast off sofas and beyond-repair bikes out on the curb knows that crazies like me take things out of their piles, but to get caught doing it can still be a little embarrassing. Awkward wave, smile, and hurry up and shut the door so they can’t see what you have and decide they want it back. It gets really exciting when a competition develops between two (or more!) hunters… you see other vehicles creeping down the street and you know they could find something FABULOUS that you might NEED! It’s every person for themselves as you try to intuit which streets are going to have the Very Best Junk and get there before the others do. I made it a couple of times, and lost out at least once that I know of. It’s just part of the fun.

What comes around goes around… several items I put at my own curb disappeared when I wasn’t looking. I’m sure the plastic wicker-framed mirror and the white stacking bins covered with childish graffiti will make someone else very happy. The creaky shelf unit I picked up a few blocks away and then decided wasn’t worth the trouble became someone else’s treasure as well. I wonder how many other stops it made that week before finding a home or finally making it into the trash truck?


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