Garbage Management

I just moved from a small apartment building where I had to pull my trash cans front the front of the building to the sidewalk once a week, to a larger place where over 100 of us share dumpsters.

The change has put an unexpected kink in my garbage management.

Garbage management started when I felt guilty taking barely full, kitchen-sized trash bags out to the big can. I had to take the bags out of my kitchen though, because, even though there wasn’t much in them, something in there had died anew and the smell made me feel like “before” on a Fabreze commercial.

As a big over-thinker, this problem was ripe for me to tackle and solve. Now I enforce Garbage Management. (Let’s put this in the “It’s good to be single” column.)

I separate my trash into three separate bags: Dry, Wet/potentially stinky items, and Recycling.

The Wet garbage is the issue. When I cook, or just over the course of a couple of days of kitchen use, I keep a small bag (usually a plastic grocery sack) in the sink for food scraps, coffee grounds, etc. When I’m done cooking for the night, or if the bag has been there for a couple of days, I take the wet bag out of my living space.

Here’s where the change in routine caused a bit of angst for me. In my small apartment, the path to the trash can was shorter, and the number of people I could potentially run into was smaller. Not so at the new place.

Why does this matter?

In the new place, I take a long-ish walk down a couple long halls through a complex with lots of neighbors, while holding a grocery sack that looks like I’m transporting body parts. It has that used diaper heaviness and, after all, it is wet inside. Also, I’m rushing a bit because I always picture the bag bursting open, or at least springing a leak. With that horror in mind, I’m holding the bag like it’s precious. Instead of looking like a genius of garbage management, I look more like a serial killer.

There is no good time of day to try to pull this off and once a neighbor sees the bag in my hand, there is no eye contact. I can see them trying to determine what I’m carrying in my little saggy bag. I wonder why my neighbors only see wet trash runs and never seem to catch me casually slinging the “dry trash” bag through the halls so they can be impressed with the way garbage moves from apartment 209.

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