or: My Afternoon at the Dump
Today I went to the dump and I encountered the very epitome of two kinds of people in this world.
I pulled up at the trash hopper behind a guy with a trunk full of stuff. He was 30-40 years old and the first thing he pulled out and tossed in the garbage compactor was a toddler sized rocking horse with a slightly worn looking pink lamb instead of a horse. I was surprised he didn’t take it to the swap shed because it looked usable, but I figured it must be broken. Then he proceeded to pull everything else out of his trunk — plastic pails and tubs, plants in big planters, an entire high chair — and he stuffed every single thing into the garbage, topping it off with a very large bag of returnable cans. I was shocked that the transfer site attendant didn’t stop him, because this took several minutes. All of those plastic containers were recyclable and those cans! What the hell!?
Feeling very disheartened, I took my big bins of recycling over to the recycling hopper one by one. My second one was full of newspapers, and quite heavy. An older man got there at the same time with a couple of bags of recycling. He told me to go ahead. When I hoisted my bin up, I couldn’t get the lid to open and I put it back down on the ground to flip the lid back. The man asked if he could help me with it, and he took one end and we lifted it back up to the opening. I gave it a shake and as everything slid out, the lid came completely off and fell into the hopper! The man said “Oh, your lid!” and he hopped up into the opening, balancing on his chest and reached in there and pulled out the lid to my bin! I was so astonished, I laughed and asked him if he was all right. He said “Sure” and smiled, handing me the lid. So I smiled and thanked him and we went on our way. He really made my day.
I was so struck by the contrast between these two people that I had to write about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.