Friday, September 4, 2009

Trash night

I was driving home Sunday night and noticed something quite disturbing. It was trash night in our township and for some reason, in many households, it must have been a weekend dedicated to cleaning out the garage or basement. Alongside the road were computer monitors, adult potty seats, kitchen cabinets, old dressers, televisions (we can thank HDTV for that) and a menagerie of everything in between.

I got angry. So much of what was going to head off to the landfill in the morning could be of use to someone. When are we going to learn that just because we no longer want something, it doesn’t mean someone might not want it? Or is it that we’re just too lazy to drive a couple miles down the road to Goodwill where they’ll not only take most of what I saw, but they’ll give you a receipt for a tax deduction as well. How does it benefit anyone when you put usable stuff out on trash night? I’m willing to bet I would have found my share of plastic bottles and aluminum cans in the trash bags had I looked. After all, the recycling bin may have been a further walk than the trash can.

Do I sound irate? I am. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.

A few years ago my neighbors remodeled their kitchen. They had an assortment of perfectly good hardwood cabinets from a fairly large kitchen setting at the end of the driveway by the time they were done. There was absolutely nothing wrong with these relatively new cabinets. The wife just wanted a change.

As awkward as we felt, my husband and I grabbed our dolly and wheeled several cabinets back to our house where they found a new home in our laundry room, garage and spare bedroom. Another neighbor helped himself to what we didn’t take. At least none of them ended up in the landfill.

I just don’t get it. There are numerous organizations that will arrange to have items picked up at your home. There are Goodwill stores across the nation that will take most things, including computers, televisions and technological paraphernalia. They even offer a service to erase your hard drive when you donate a computer. They sanitize furniture and toys. They check for lead paint. They provide a service, not only to the community, but to hundreds of physically and mentally challenged workers as well.

I’ll get off my soap box now with just one last comment.

The next time you decide to clean out the attic or other room full of clutter, think twice before tossing items in the trash. Even if you can’t use, or don’t like something anymore, doesn’t mean it won’t be of value to another person or family. There’s an old saying that goes, “Your trash is someone else’s treasure.” Cliché or not, it’s just a part of being environmentally conscious.

Keeping it green,



  1. I have become obsessed with Goodwill shopping, especially the Goodwill in Cranberry. You should see all the great stuff I've found there. And guess what will happen to it when I'm done. I'll either sell it on craigslist, have a garage sale, or donate back to Goodwill. It's too bad that some people think it's easier to just dump stuff on the curb. So many things can be reused or repurposed (e.g. screw handles onto opposite sides of old kitchen cabinet doors to make a serving tray!) Great blog, Hana!

  2. Thanks Heather! Tune in Monday night when I'll be blogging about my addiction to shopping at Goodwill.


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