Out of Sight, Out of Mind
 
 
I must say I was appalled by my trash-removal bill this month. I had expected to pay a little more because I had put out several extra green bags, but fifty percent more! It didn't help when I brought up the detailed bill on my payment screen. I remember now of seeing a couple of warning indicators on the daily bulletin screen but ignoring them because they were only yellows. 

Now that I am seeing the full history of my recent trash services, it is clear that seven of the bags of trimmings were overweight and triggered a costly extra pickup. It wouldn't have been so bad if some of the bags had not ripped open, necessitating a cleanup charge too. Of course I could contest the extra charge right on the screen, but I could see from the video that the bags were split open even before the pickup arms had touched them. Then too I could see that the clippings were blowing all around while the cleanup crew was trying to pick them up, so I just sighed, clicked on "pay," and resolved to double bag my trimmings the next time.

The use of sealed, color-coded trash bags introduced in the 2015s had become so familiar, I could hardly remember back to the time when trash collecting was always a mess, so noisy, and so dirty.  Now that all of the trucks went about their business almost silently, what with their electric engines and every moving part riding on rubber, trash days came and went without a sound. Moreover, because their mechanical arms conveyed the bags into the hopper so efficiently, I forgot that I too played a part in making the system work. 

Now that the system is a success and making money too, I certainly wish that I had been one of the initial investors who designed it. Not only is the pickup fast, quiet and odorless, but the overall process also yields valuable energy, metals, agricultural mulch, even some building materials, and no waste.  However, I don't think I ever had the patience to deal with all of the government agencies whose approval was necessary to finally permit its operation.  I'm just glad to be living in a time when trash is no longer a problem, even though it takes a little extra care for me and everyone else to make it work smoothly.  Benjamin Franklin said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes. But I'd like to add a third certainty: trash. And while some might want to discuss reducing taxes, I want to talk about reducing trash.
	-- Ruth Ann Minner, Govenor of Deleware
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Trash Removal in 2020