It’s bulk garbage pick-up time again in our neighborhood.
All those old bulky items that cannot possibly fit into a regular trash bin can be placed curbside for collection. The city sends a notice to announce the start date for pick-up, but also warns people it could be several days before items are actually picked.
We’re in that interim period now where piles have been placed curbside but pick-up has not started. This is also the time we see trucks slowly rolling through the neighborhood, eyeing the piles, and picking out those goodies they feel might still be useful.
Gone the first evening from our pile was the particle-board-mounted world map that hung in my family’s hallway when I was growing up. When we sold off our folks’ house, I put it in storage since our house had no good place to hang it . Unfortunately, the board warped, the map started peeling off, and despite my possible intended uses — backdrop for video shoot to resemble a “news desk” or video of the world in flames as I burned the thing — there it stayed, unused, for the last 10 years.
So it went onto the bulk trash pile — but someone else apparently thought it great, and so it was taken overnight.
Same thing happened the next day with a wrought iron chair with no seat and a broken metal camp table.
Some piles offer some real treasures, and it’s amusing to see the piles dwindle daily until the city comes by and picks them up. Some piles disappear entirely.
The dwindling piles make me think about visiting my brother in Houston many years ago. I was helping him move a large broken couch out of his house, and asked where we were going to take it.
“Freeway Man will get it!”
We drove about 3 blocks down the street and stopped under one of Houston’s many freeways, pulling up curbside by the empty right-of-way. We unloaded the couch and set it on the ground beside the road. “We just leave it here?” I asked.
He nodded, adding, “It’ll be gone within an hour — I promise you.”
Sure enough, when we drove back past the place about 30 minutes later, the couch was already gone. “I’ve never seen anything stay there longer an hour: couches, chairs — even a fridge one time.”
“Who picks it up?”
“Freeway Man!” he laughed again. “Who knows? I’ve seen a lot of folks drop stuff off, but I have never seen anyone pick stuff up — it’s just gone.” He smiled again, “Freeway Man done got it!”
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure indeed.