One of the things I love most about my new homeland is also one of the things that has become my largest pet peeve – trash collection! As I mentioned in an earlier post – I hate to take the trash out! In Turkey, it is an easy thing to do. Every day at a designated time, I set a small bag of trash outside of my apartment door. The “building guy” comes along and collects the bags. He ties them up in a larger bag, and sets them across the street on the curb.
Every night, the trash collectors come along, rain or shine, holiday or not, to pick up the trash. There is usually one or two guys that come behind them to sweep up anything that was missed. Sounds GREAT, right?!
Not. The problem occurs between the the time the trash is put to the curb and the time of pickup. There are men who come through the neighborhood looking for whatever they can sell. They carry vary large covered wagons behind them. They rip open the bags, dump the contents to the curb, and pull out the recyclables – bottles, paper, plastics, etc.
When I first saw this I was shocked! But eventually I let it go. The municipality does not have a true recycling program. And if these guys are willing to go through trash in order to make a dime, more power to them. Most of them probably don’t have much of a salary other than this and likely have mouths to feed.
But enough is enough! Yesterday a guy came down the street – yes, I was hanging out on the balcony again – and he dumped the bags of a neighboring building. When he was finished finding his gold under this particular rainbow, he did not bother to pick up the rest of the trash that he had dumped! I was disgusted. I ran for my camera, planning to attack when he got to my side of the street. But he never came back.
I’m not sure what I am going to do about this. I always make a point of placing my “golden trash” into a clear plastic bag, making it easy for these men to spot without making a mess. But they don’t seem to practice the same etiquette I do. Sometimes I have even seen them take the empty bag after they dumped it!
Perhaps I should photograph them and report them to the police. Maybe I should pass it on to the health department. Or, just for fun, I could handle it Philly-style. I could place a big mound of doggie-doo in each bag. That would take time and be super icky – but oh the laughs I would have from the first floor front!