Great Leaping Refuse…As the Condo Turns


Why another post? After my exit from this series yesterday, Britt Girl sent me a comment to say that one of her favourite things about condo living, was the garbage chute. Great leaping refuse!  How could I have forgotten to mention, nay praise, the almighty garbage chute! So I’m back to pay homage.

Picture this: The big-ass house I had before becoming a condoarian, was in the country. So the property was large with a long driveway out to the road. On garbage day, especially in the winter, I would don my parka over my PJ’s and go out to the garage.  There, with freezing fingers, I would tag each bag ( we paid for pick-up) and load one at a time on to a hand cart. Then I would wheel the damn thing up the driveway, tipping the bags off the trolley several times through the bumpy ride.

Beware of dogs: At the same time, I was armed with a stick and my trusty ultrasonic dog repeller to defend myself from the 12 neighbourhood dogs that roamed the area, despite their electronic fences. My nutty neighbour next door had 5 of them and those barking pooches watched my every move. She also had 13 cats and built an addition on her house for them, but that’s a story for another day. Okay, are you with me so far?

Job well done: After several trips up and down said driveway, while looking over my shoulder for canine attacks, I would leave all the bags neatly lined up at the edge of the roadway for the town garbage and recycle trucks to pick up.

Garbage police:  Then as was often the case, as I sat working in my den – the trucks would arrive. If a bag was too large, or too heavy, or the dogs and crows had ripped it open, they simply left the bag beside the road and drove away. And when the recycle truck came along, the workers would peer through my clear plastic bags, and if they saw something they didn’t like inside , they would also reject the bag – and leave a big yellow note attached to it.

Crazy old lady: Now I consider myself to be a sane, albeit feisty sort of gal. But the actions by these garbage police drove me into a frenetic state of irrational rage. I would storm out the door and chase the truck down the street waving my recycle pamphlet , as they left me in their exhaust fumes.

Ultimate insult! Now do you have any idea how it feels to have your garbage rejected? Your garbage! And for the whole neighbourhood to see! People would smirk and look at our house, as they pointed at our bags and drove by. My poor dejected refuse, slumped in disgrace with their yellow rejection slips flashing like neon lights.

Encore performance: And the worst part was having to schlep all those bags back down the driveway and into the garage, only to get more stinky until the next pick-up day – when I would have even more bags to schlep back up the driveway!

Have a cigarette: So you can understand my orgasmic state of mind, when I simply throw my garbage into a chute and walk away. It’s euphoric, blissful and sublime – I tell you. No fuss, no muss, no kidding!

Until next time – these are the days of our lives.

12 responses »

  1. I can picture you doing the garbage run……..I’m still doing that long walk down my driveway, in fact, my friend built me a little trolley to assist in getting the trash to the street! Oh, yes, I’d kill for a garbage chute right about now!

    Looking forward to your next Pat Skene blog!


    • Too bad they can’t build garbage units inside the house – like a laundry chute. You would simply drop the garbage into the drawer and it would end up at the nearest dump. I think I’m on to something BIG!


  2. Hmmmmmmm……….something worth patenting! It could have a hose similar to the ones used for draining pools and maybe a machine to mulch it while still inside the house?? It’s good to have our creative juices flowing.


  3. Good description….I can just picture you!
    How would you like to have to store your garbage in a bear and rodent proof shed, drive 20 km. to the nearest garbage dump (extremely smelly and only open Saturdays 8-2), then get out of the car to feed the bears who are anxiously waiting for you to throw your garbage over the edge?
    That’s what living in the country is like!


  4. Absolutely loved this post–one of my favourite in this series. One tip for condo-seekers: check out the building’s recycling program. Some condos I’ve lived in have had an extensive system that promoted recycling in the building, others had a terrible program–too few bins, too limited in what could be recycled. And some condos have rules as to when you can use the chute.


    • Good tips Jessica. In this building, they ask you not to throw anything down the chute after 10:00pm I think. But most condoarians here are counting snoring sheep by then anyway.


  5. I’m looking forward to being able to downsize to a condo — hadn’t even thought about this aspect yet. (in my long-ago apartment experiences, we had a big communal bin, and the raccoons would come and pull things out of it)


  6. Sometimes enjoying the luxuries in life like dropping that bag down the chute is all it takes to get us thru the day. I am thrilled when I open the door and my paper isn’t half way across the hall. Gotta appreciate the little things.


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