This morning I made the dump run with the damaged items from the basement. The melted TV, the traumatized DVD player, the smoky couch that was 15 years old before we did this to it. The refrigerator that quit working, possibly because of the power surge. Or because it had not been feeling well for over a year and it was just time to let go.
Dumps have changed a lot since I was a kid. I remember the dump at Fairbanks. One drove in the gate, past heaps of all sorts of refuse. Fires were usually smouldering in several locations. You picked a spot, backed up, and tossed everything out. No fees. Occasionally a watchman. It was acceptable to wander about a bit and perhaps salvage a bicycle frame or a tire that didn’t look too bad.
Today, my first stop at the dump was the Goodwill donation station. The attendant took an item or two, but shook his head no to the couch. He did take the melted TV, for recycling.
Next stop was the weigh in and presentation of my ID. I had called ahead so this would be one of my two free trips t the dump that I am allowed annually. They gave me a pink card and directed me to follow the white line. Which ended in a row of concrete pylons. Hm. Not what they intended, I was sure. So I went on for a bit and eventually found the compactor. I backed up and Jack and I unloaded. When it came time to dump the couch over, I knew a moment of extreme guilt. We could have cleaned it, one more time. It wasn’t really THAT bad. I was (and am) sure that there were people in Tacoma that would have been very happy to adopt it. But I didn’t know who they were, or where, so under the chain it slid. Goodbye, brown couch.
Final stop was the small parking lot full of refrigerators. Hydaulic Jack lifted mine out of the truck, walked across the parking lot and set it down with the others. The amount of strength he has always shocks me.
And then we went through the payment line, and headed for home.
But I am still feeling a big guilty.
I’ve known some tough financial times in my life. It has led me to have a great reluctance to throw away anything that is useful. Even when it is useless to me, I always feel like I should hold onto it until I can put it into the hands of someone who needs it. In my time, I’ve been grateful for second hand dishes, for towels that did not match, and yes, for a saggy couch that was just fine with a terry cloth throw over it.
I like the new generation of recycling that includes 2good2toss and Craigslist. If I hadn’t been so sure that Goodwill would take the couch, I would have gone to one of those services.
Well, farewell old couch! You will be part of the landfill soon. I wonder how long it will take before you are a useful part of the earth again.