Garbage Collection Resolved

When you move to Mexico you might be surprised that you can’t just put your garbage can out on the street and have it picked up. In most places in Mexico you have to personally take your garbage to the garbage truck when it comes by. For this reason someone on the garbage collection crew rings a bell, loudly informing people that they need to gather their garbage and come out to dispose of it.

Each city is different, but that’s the general plan. A second option is to take your garbage in a personal vehicle–if you have one–and throw it away in a dumpster. In Cuernavaca our garbage collection was relatively random as far as day and time of collection was concerned. Then we began to have major problems with garbage–and if you live here you’ll know that that is an understatement. As part of these problems garbage collection became even more sporadic and quite infrequent. In our family we survived the crunch by having my husband take it to a dumpster on his way to work.

Suddenly the city had the problem resolved. A new company began to take over garbage collection in the neighborhoods. Much to our dismay they removed the dumpsters all over the city. It became my job to listen for the garbage truck and run out to throw the garbage away. No easy feat with a toddler in the house! I was getting quite wound up about the whole thing because the new bells were quieter and I couldn’t hear the truck until it was already in my street, giving me all of 60 seconds to get my son in the stroller, the gate unlocked, and charge out, garbage in one hand, stroller handle in the other. What if we were in the middle of a diaper change?

Well I stressed and groused and asked a neighbor to shout at me when he heard the truck working its way through our neighborhood. He told me he heard the truck and I’d come out and the truck would either have already left or would take 20 more minutes to come. There I’d be, standing in the hot sun with my son and my garbage. As if that weren’t enough, sometimes I had to leave on garbage collection day and would have to leave my garbage with a neighbor. That’s when the solution began to form its self.

Apparently others were having the same problems I was. In fact, I’m sure they were because I saw people running and shouting to each other when the truck showed up. People in my neighborhood NEVER run and never shout. Everyone walks and speaks to eath other in conversational tones. Mexicans rarely make a show. People began to pile their garbage up at the bases of trees and posts in the morning of collection day. One day my neighbor helped me to take my garbage out and that’s what she did. She piled mine right on the pile. Later that day it was gone. I hadn’t even heard the truck!

Ahhhh. Relief. Now all I have to do is take my garbage out to the street in the morning on collection day.

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