RIP Garbage picking in West Hartford

It hit me the other day as I watched two men in a station wagon cruising slowly down the street, inspecting the assorted trash outside everybody’s house, that when the town switches over to the new barrel system this fall, one of the town’s long-standing traditions will die.

If the only stuff that trash collectors will pick up is whatever we can cram in the barrel for the one-armed trucks to lift, dump and return to the curb empty, then there’s no place anymore for putting old Playschool climbing toys on the side of the road, or aging tv sets with “IT WORKS” signs taped on the tubes, or boxes of odds and ends from the basement. They either get tossed in the can or hauled off to …. well, I’m not sure.

What I do know is that I probably won’t be trying to lug an old bookshelf home that my neighbor down the block no longer wants. I’ll just see neat rows of big trash cans, with nothing to differentiate one from the other except perhaps whether the lids are firmly closed or propped up a bit by that final bag of kitchen litter.

I imagine this change will have quite an impact on the stores throughout the area that sell used goods and for the people who take out trash to flea markets.

What it really does, I’m afraid, is to push us a little further towards becoming the throw-away society we all loathe, even as embrace its ethos day in and day out. What’s old and unwanted simply disappears. It never even makes a pit stop by the side of the road, where a hope of new life still exists. 



Filed under Environment, garbage, garbage picking, recycling, solid waste, trash, Uncategorized

7 responses to “RIP Garbage picking in West Hartford

  1. Mike

    You’re right. The big items that will be tossed now will require a permit for pick-up. And i might be a little less tolerant of people picking the stuff up once I have plunked down $25 at Town Hall for the privelege of having another garbage truck come out and pick it up for me.

  2. Heck, I’ll put stuff out on the curb anyway.. it’ll disappear just as it always does.
    I am still so angry they are spending an extra $700,000 on this stupid new trash hauler. They could have saved us a bunch of money and stayed with the same contractor. But apparently, saving money and West Hartford Town Council are two phrases that will never go together.

  3. Emilee

    I agree with Judy – things on the curb with disappear anyway. I say this as a 20-something always cruising for furniture bargains 😉

    Perhaps a change in the garbage pick-up system will cause people to turn to Freecycle or other alternatives.

  4. Please join us in freecycling your goods! There is no reason to lug them out to the curb! Our members pick up!! I am the moderator of the site and I welcome all West Hartford residents. We have over 2100 members. Thanks

  5. interested

    I think that it’s getting to be time to move out.. Does anyone know of a town that has a responsible spending policy?

  6. Nice article.
    Made me feel like I was not alone.

    I am a life long picker. I have picked amazing things.


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