Adventures in Diversity: Trash

This weekend I spied that the neighbors put their big green trash bin out and their blue bin was overflowing with trash in bags. For those of you who don’t know, the blue bin is for recycling. Also we don’t have trash pick up on the weekends.
This is where I became the buttinsky neighbor. I took the trash bag on top and threw it into one of the other neighbor’s not-so-full trash cans. Then I grabbed a brochure from DPW I had stuck to the fridge and walked over to the recycling offender’s house. I knocked on the door and the kids answered. I said that the city wasn’t collecting trash that day and they won’t take trash from the recycling cans. I got a wide-eyed saucer look and they yelled something back to their mom in the rear of the house. Mom came to the front, I tried to explain myself and then handed her the brochure.
I should mention, Mom does not speak English. Or Spanish, that other great American language. I’m not really sure if the kids speak English either. Dad speaks perfect English, however, Dad wasn’t home.
Also this is not the first time I have made attempts to explain the trash/ recycling system to the family. When they first moved in their trash can never got to the curb. They would fill it. But it never moved to the spot where the garbage men would take it. I mentioned it to the son, but he just smiled and nodded. It still did not move until I moved it. Once that was done, they figured it out.
I have no idea what language the family speaks. I understand that their native land is diverse with several ethnic groups and a couple of languages…. Well that’s what I sort of remember from a speech given at some street fair in Adams Morgan.
The DPW brochure has a bunch of big pictures showing what kinds of materials go into the blue bin. Hopefully, this will help in my evil plan to impose my western recycling values. Next, imposing my anti-littering values on the native population.

9 thoughts on “Adventures in Diversity: Trash”

  1. My favorite is the growing trash pile. Two weeks ago, an unknown neighbor put their leaves in plastic bags out on the burm next to my house. It is still there. However, the collection has grown to include 40oz and other beer bottles in paper bags and various trash.

    I put as much as possible into my trash this am, but not enough room for the leaves…..

  2. not that i want to steal mari’s thunder here, but i’ve got a dandy Shaw tale for you folks. I live at 9th and N and everyday i have the same routine – wake, dress, get in car, open garage door to alleyway, drive to work. Well a month ago, i was going through my routine…. wake… dress… get in car… open garage door to alleyway and WHOA – there was a car parked in FRONT of my garage door – no way for me to get around.


    So while I’m thinking about how a tow truck will have a difficult time getting back into the alley AND i’m going to be late to work… I notice something…. the car is MOVING. A gentle rocking back and forth. That’s when I realize there are two people banging out in the back seat (this is 7am, mind you). I quickly hit the button on the garage door and close it. I sit thinking for a while and that ‘s when i get angry… so I hit the button again and up goes the door – and the people inside still have not noticed. So i honk. Immediately, the “john” looks up and starts to panic. That’s when i realize its a hooker he’s nailing. Nice. So they scramble to put their clothes on and jet; while I’m left thinking:

    1.) Well now I know why I always see used condoms in the back alley, and
    2.) Nice to know the hookers and trannys have my back alley scouted out as a nice place to take the Johns for their morning blow.

    Go Shaw!

  3. I’m deleting one anon comment, ’cause that’s the policy ’round here. Sign your name to your posts. I’m keeping the other ’cause I’ll take “Go Shaw” as a name and it’s entertaining.
    But by the by, we have several neighbors illeagally leaving their cans on the sidewalks (as opposed to in their yards) all week long. So I consider them to be fair game.

  4. Funny, I’ve got two newcomer neighbors in Bloomingdale who put their trash out nearly a week early last summer. The result? A massive swarm of flies in the alley. Once the trash was finally removed (bless the poor soul who had to empty that can) I noticed that their can was full of maggots.

    Other Adventures in Newcomers include blocking my back door with their trash, blocking the *entire* alley with their rental van while they unload *and install* new bathroom fixtures. (seriously, they parked in the middle of the alley and left the van sitting there for a long time).

    It goes on and on; but the best part is their apparent refusal to acknowledge anyone in the neighborhood even exists. Unless, of course, it is someone who is getting out of their car with out-of-state plates who is coming to one of their many, many, many loud parties. Nothing like obnoxious stuck-up newcomers to give those of us who look like them a bad rep. We aren’t all the same… honest!


  5. Trash issues are so frustrating. It’s a great service if only people would use it right!!

    My neighbors in Capitol Hill are just as bad as these morons you describe. The one with whom I share cans has never *once* taken them down to the curb herself, the whole year I’ve lived there. I’m considering a note taped to her door, but don’t want to prompt retaliation in the form of increased pounding on the walls/floor.

    The neighbors up the street never, ever bring their cans in from the curb. It’s so so so annoying to have to walk by them every time I leave the house. Uuuurhg!

  6. While your neighbors may fail to understand how to use the trash and recycling bin system in DC, it sounds like they pick up the idea after a while. I just wish we can get folks who have been living in or around Shaw to dispose their trash in trash cans instead of pictching it on the side walk.

  7. Are twice-weekly collection areas permitted to use the big Supercans? If yes, is there anyone who’d be willing to swap a minican for a Supercan temporarily? I realize this may seem like an odd request… but just trying to utilize the maximum (250 lbs) allowable dumping

  8. I would LOVE to temporarily switch my supercan for a mini can. I don’t produce a lot of trash because I compost and recycle. Email me at mari at inshaw period com.

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