The garbage thief

by Neil Rickert

It’s been a while since I last posted, and a reader is encouraging me to post some more. The truth is that, as I get older, my enthusiasm for posting dwindles. But let’s give it a try.

I’m starting with a story that happens to be true.

In our town, we are expected to separate recyclables from regular garbage. We are required to purchase a sticker to attach to the regular garbage, but the separated recyclable items are taken for free. This is intended to give us an incentive to recycle, though I would have done it even without that incentive.

We only put out the recycling bin every 3-4 weeks. And our regular garbage is usually fairly small in quantity. The best way we can help the environment is to live our lives so as to produce very little waste.

So on Friday, we put out the regular garbage. The wasn’t enough in the recycling bin to put that out. We put the garbage in a black garbage bag, attached a sticker, and left it on the driveway near the curb. This was at around 8:30 am.

When we looked at 9 am, the garbage bag was gone. We know it was not collected the usual way. The contractors who collect it make a lot of noise, and usually collect it around 2-3 pm. So it had just disappeared.

Perhaps there really are gremlins, goblins, etc, and we have been wrong about that for all of our lives. But it seemed more likely that a human took the garbage bag. And that presumed person is whom we are calling “the garbage thief”.

Why would somebody steal our garbage? I don’t really know. Perhaps they are spying on us, but that seems unlikely. So I’m guessing that they really wanted that garbage sticker. I’m guessing that they put their own garbage out in a garbage can. And because our bag is small, they can put it at the top of their can with the sticker showing. That way they would get their garbage taken using our sticker.

This is strange behavior. But the world is full of strange people.

We first noticed this sort of behavior several years ago — that was before the pandemic. The city asks us to put the garbage out by 7:30 am, and we were doing that. And often the bag disappeared soon after. So we switched to putting it out at 8:30 or later, to discourage this garbage theft. I think Friday was the first time that it was taken since we switched to the 8:30 time.

And that’s my post for today.

3 Comments to “The garbage thief”

  1. Your post made me chuckle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Who knew … garbage thieves!!! Here in da hood, we used to have recycling bins, but when new management took over, they disappeared. Now, we have a few dumpsters, one at the end of each street, and some are too lazy to walk to the dumpster, so they either drive their trash down, else just toss it somewhere near the dumpster. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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