The Art of Taking Out the Trash

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Wait! Don’t leave. I won’t torture you with the discoveries of taking the trash out. Well, maybe, a little torture. . .

Below is a perfect representation as I see trash to be handled. Thank you Phillip Morina for this simple depiction. And, possibly, capturing my audience for a few more seconds.

garbage, trash, flowchart, trash flowchart, oscar

Sums it Up.


This example is the garbage philosophy I belong to. However, as a traveler in other peoples homes, I’ve learned there are several other philosophies. You see, as guests, we work hard to meld to the general order of “keeping house,” and one would think managing the garbage is pretty straight forward.

I am here to tell you, it is not as straight forward as you might think.

Of course, there is which day of the week you bring out the garbage, recycling, and/or yard debris. Then there is, what is considered recyclable – which is a whole other algorithm. Those basics we learn, and follow suit.  But, believe it or not, I’ve been corrected almost every time I help with garbage, and there’s just some awkward feeling I get when this happens. I mean, we’re talking garbage here. And, I’m doing it wrong.


For example, at one stay, ants can be a pesky nuisance, and garbage needed to be removed from the kitchen almost as soon as it was generated. Those cans rarely met capacity, and nevermind pushing it down – just get it out. BUT, when it came time to get the cans to the street – there was a different protocol. You don’t want those cans to get to the street until moments before the truck came. Our hosts literally dragged them back up the drive because I was too quick to deposit them for pick up. You see, in that case, they didn’t want to encourage scavengers – the sketchy human kind.

Then there was the household where it was the “man’s job to take the garbage out” – so, back off. But, with some persuasion, “yeah, you can haul it to the street, that’d be fine.”

See, I’m helllpppiinnnggg!

I’ve been a guest in a home with a person who relishes an empty garbage can. Pristine, light, clean emptiness. All is right in the world, when the can is empty. It’s just that keeping it that way, is pretty much impossible. And, (apparently) it can be so depressing when it has to hold garbage again.

In other visits, the cans were jury rigged with bungee cords in attempt to keep raccoons out. “OH, that’s what those are for?, but, wait, how did they get in last week?” Yeah, those raccoons have it all figured out.

Another stay did not have garbage pick up. It was essentially piled in a heap and burned at some point. “Where do I bring this bag, again?, through which pasture?”

And then there is our most recent stay. A home, with a total of four roommates, and I saw a whole new strategy. It was like trash-can Jenga. Strategically balancing trash, beyond the capacity of the kitchen can, tenderly leaning a sturdy piece against the wall to manage additional trash on top of that. I believe the leaning part should be against the rules, but again, I’m the guest here. . .231

In conclusion – and, for the record – I am quite grateful our hosts speak up. I want to handle garbage the way they see best. And, I suppose more importantly, I want to be invited back. . .

About Hali

Just a travel junkie trying to find my voice in the blogosphere. I enjoy sharing my photography and fast facts I learn in the places I travel through.

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