What gorgeous weather we’ve had lately, thankyouverymuch! My rain barrels are full to overflowing, but that’s another blog.
At this time of year we find ourselves stuck inside alot, the wet weather hardly conducive to yard work or other outside chores. That’s okay, there’s plenty of stuff to do inside the house and the garage and the shop. First it’s good to give everything a good cleaning out, make some room for Winter activities.
Between our house and our rentals, there is always stuff that needs to go to the dump. Rotten fence posts and boards, old rug, a section of irrigation line torn up by a pissed off little dog – things that are too big to stick in our Recology bin. We stack it up in a pile just beyond sight of my kitchen window, hidden by the corner of a fence and a shed, and when it looks about the same size as a half-ton pick-up, we load it up and haul it outta there.
Luckily, we get those free dump coupons from Recology – they used to send them every three months, now it looks like we’re cut off to twice a year. But I’ll take them – the dump usually charges $10 a car, with extra fees for weight beyond about 500 pounds. They also charge extra for “bulky items” – a mattress, for example, is $9.
And let me warn you – don’t bring your stumps to the dump! A two foot wide stump will cost you $10, anything bigger is $30. You know you can make a pretty handy stool out of a stump, think about that before you bust a gut getting it into your truck.
I always look a trash load over pretty good – yesterday my husband and I argued over a section of hog wire fencing that I thought was still perfectly good but couldn’t lift it out of the truck myself so ceded the argument.
And we were off!
I had an English professor at Chico State named Gil Prince. He drove every day from his home in Paradise, he said, since the early 60’s. He had watched Neal Road Canyon form into a mountain over those years. He didn’t moralize over it – I will – Chico is a great big pig. You people need to look at your habits in a mirror. It amazes me that people would complain about having a trash truck come down their street – just imagine what a pile of your own filth you’d be sitting in if you had to deal with it yourself.
That said, my husband and I made our way to the dump to make our contribution.
The dump is home to a vast water treatment system. If you are on a septic tank instead of sewer, you should have your tank pumped, minimum, every five years. Your septic service driver will bring it out to Neal Road, where they use the same technology that is used at the city water treatment, or “sewer” plant, but this doesn’t get dumped into the river, it evaporates. Read up on it here:
I believe Mike Crump was sincere when he said the dump was modernizing – anything would be an improvement over the way this dump has been historically run. If you have been to the dump as many times as I have, you’ll remember total mayhem, dump it wherever, usable stuff all over the ground, which the employees used to try to retrieve if possible. A woman employee was once killed by a backhoe as she tried to retrieve something. When I made a move on a 5 gallon bucket I saw a man throw out of his truck, a man ran over and yelled at me to “get back in your husband’s truck!” I realize, he was fearing for my safety. It was a free-for-all out there.
Twice we arrived to find fires that had been burning for days, spontaneous combustion of wet trash – it gets hot under there.
So now, yeah, the dump is way improved over the Stone Age, but I think they have a little farther to go.
I guess I can feel better about going to the dump now. I wonder if we will still be allowed to haul our own junk to the dump when they set up the trash franchises.