A Short Story by Serah Samson
Today is Tuesday, Garbage Collection Day. It's that day when I get to take the garbage out of the house and line it up at the garbage collection station to wait for the garbage collection truck. Well this has been my routine every day of the week since I moved into this apartment.
One Tuesday morning, I forgot to put the garbage out and as fate would have it, I had a free afternoon, so I went home in the afternoon. What I found left an eerie feeling in my tummy. All the garbage bags were still lining up at 2pm. But instead of their pristine state in the morning, they now looked oddly pale. Some had been opened and the flies were now having a go at them. I saw the garbage truck people arrive. They leapt out of the truck and tossed the bags into the already full truck. Some of the garbage fell off, but it was quickly shoved back in, and once all the garbage bags were in, off the truck went. To where? Where does the garbage go once it leaves my house?
All along I had thought of how dignified we town people were. With our garbage collection systems, we were keeping the environment clean. Right? Now I wasn't so sure. Could I have been contributing to the garbage menace. That evening as I pulled out a clean garbage bag, I paused and wondered if I could do it differently this week. Could I place the organic waste in a separate bag. Perhaps I could keep the dry waste separate from the wet waste. Sounded simple enough. After all the kitchen waste was the main reason for a garbage bag in the first place. Maybe I thought I could keep the cabbage leaves for my next door neighbor, maybe he could give it to his cows. But how would that conversation go, I wondered.
Excuse me mister, I spared some cabbage leaves for your animals...Lol. Would it be wierd. Next I had some potato peels, next some oranges and onions and garlic peels too. My little knowledge in farming told me that that would now not be an acceptable gift to a farmer as potato peels and also onion peels are really not fed to animals. What to do I thought. Should I find a farm and place some animals there to process my household waste? How many animals could I possibly support on my household waste? Would I need to buy them more food inorder to survive? Needless to say, by the end of the week, I had tossed the garbage into the garbage bag defeated. There were so many little details that made up my household waste that I would need an expert to properly dispose of each one of them.
Those garbage collection truck people were definitely not experts I could talk to. I honestly don't think they are really keen on the waste they handle except for a few valuables here and there like a shoe or a raincoat or a big plastic container or the occasional garbage gold. So what about the rest of the garbage? Where was that going? Because I now knew that it didn't remain in the clean garbage bag. No, it soon joined the mountain of sprawling garbage somewhere. Nightmares, at the risk of those, I shelved the idea of doing better until I met Lucky who changed my life with a whispered message. She said to me, Teacher , I found a company that processes garbage the way you said it should. I heard her but I was not convinced. If there was someone like that where she was saying they were, would I not have already picked up the scent?
Where is this place I queried, who can I talk to, how can I go there I asked. She shared a number that really led me to her uncle and it appeared to be yet another dead end until I met the Uncle out of the blue outside a supermarket. Who meets people who know them in such odd places? But the story was confirmed. Indeed, there was such a place. Not wanting to raise my hopes up, I gave my number for the lady of that place that processes waste the way it should be to call me. And she did, and as they say the rest is history. Now every week while everyone is lining up their garbage bags in the garbage collection point. I carry my sorted garbage in my car and drive to Friends of Creation where my household waste has found a home.