I was sitting here wondering, "What can I bore people with today on my blog?" as I looked through some old pictures. I know, the dump! I know you're excited. You're probably thinking, "Oh goodie, Rena's going to talk about trash, be still my beating heart." This picture is the residential trash area. There's a real dump in the town of Kalispell. When we first moved here, we found out there was no trash service at our house. This threw us for a loop for and we weren't sure if we'd like that. We always had trash service in California. We had a trash bin, recycle bin and a green bin for things like brush or grass clippings. Every Monday we had to put the bins out. It's different here. Instead, we keep our trash in our garage and when our bins are full, we take them to this site in the picture. I thought it would be a pain, but it hasn't been. In fact, it's worked out better. For one, there are several of these dumpsites, so we can drop off the trash regardless of which way we're traveling. Two, it's free and there's no limit of trash you can get rid of. That was especially nice when we first moved here and had all those boxes and things. It's great at Christmas and birthdays when we have more garbage than normal. So, it's been kind of nice and not an inconvenience at all. There are bins for trash, others for cardboard and a place for large items to be removed. Some people here have regular trash service, so it just depends on where you live. After not being able to get up our own road last night because of the ice, I understand why they do it this way.
One thing that's sad is how some people go digging around the bins. We've had people dig through our trash even before we've driven away. Some people are just looking for junk, maybe to sell or fix up, but others are really so poor that this is how they survive. I'll never forget a story Rick told me about seeing a family digging through the trash. As the parents poked through the garbage, their 2 young girls were inside the trash bins digging around. One of them stood up straight and held a grubby little tee shirt over her chest to see if it would fit her. Rick said it was heartbreaking. We give stuff to the local Salvation Army quite a bit, but sometimes I'll leave things at the dumpsite instead. I'll just put them next to the bins. I've done that with clothes, shoes, old toys, etc. It's not like everyone here is dirt poor. That's certainly not the case, especially in the town I live in, which is on a huge lake surrounded by million dollar homes. But there are some people struggling, and if I can help in that simple way, I will. I recently left 2 perfectly good booster seats at the dumpsite. For one, thrift stores can't accept them and we don't have a place locally that recycles them. Ours were in perfect condition, so rather than toss them in the bins, I left them next to them. Hopefully, someone was able to use them, especially someone who might have been tempted not to put their child in one after they grew out of their baby seat. The other day I saw a nice looking couple digging through the trash. In just the few minutes I was there, the lady had pulled out a box of Christmas ornaments, a beautiful wreath and a few other holiday things. One person's trash is another person's treasure! I have never dug through the trash myself, but I have found books in boxes next to the bin. And yeah, I did pick a few of those up. I hate to see books thrown away.
I've been doing research on dumps and garbage men for my book, A New Job for Dilly. I'm trying to come up with some fun projects that kids can do after reading the story. There's some interesting stuff out there. Did you know garbage men can make $30,000 to $80,000 per year depending on where they work? Did you know the very first garbage men of England were called "rakers" because once a week they'd go through the streets and rake up the trash? I guess it's interesting to me because my book has a connection to it. But anyway, having to take our trash to the dumpsite isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I've seen some bizarre stuff there -- from people digging through the trash, to the legs of deer sticking out of bins, to watching bald eagles fly overhead. You never know what to expect.