Thursday, November 11, 2010

Garbage in, Garbage out

Maggie had a young nurse fill in the other night. She is a recent graduate from nursing school, in fact she was in Eddie’s class in grammar school and high school!  She did a great job and did all Maggie’s skilled care with enthusiasm. She had been here a couple of times before training under Fely, but she did this shift on her own. I was home if she needed any help, but she handled things perfectly.

She mentioned how much we recycle and reuse things here, which of course is very different from the hospital. When there is only one patient, you don’t have to worry about spreading germs. Cleaning things well generally takes care of things. It was actually good to hear that she thinks we are efficient with our supplies because I feel like all we do is contribute to the overflowing landfill.  

Maggie generates and incredible amount of garbage. There are at least two large plastic trash bags a day along with a bag or two of recycled food cans  and paper/cardboard from Maggie’s room every day. The rest of the house generates maybe half as much as Maggie does on her own.

The garbage presents something of a problem. The garbage cans are downstairs beneath the deck that comes off of Maggie’s room. Unless one is going to head down the stairs and put the plastic bag directly in the can, I don’t want the garbage outside at night. The raccoons will rip it apart looking for food. That leaves garbage, including diapers, strewn all over the place. Not pleasant.

Generally, I deal with the garbage in the morning. I throw the bag over the deck, put Maggie in the elevator, ride down and then put the bag into the can when I get downstairs. This picture will describe it better than I can. There are the (overflowing) cans along the fence line just at the edge of the deck. You can see the elevator shaft behind the garbage cans.

It’s efficient. Drop the bag, hear the thud, open the elevator door, get in, go down, pick up the bag, toss it in the can and proceed out to the bus.  

I did that this morning before we went shopping. But something wasn’t right. I paused and cocked my head to figure out what was wrong. Then I realized, there was no “thud.” I peered over and saw this.

The garbage was hung up on the cyclone fence. I’m just glad it didn’t land in the neighbor’s yard. That might be difficult to explain at 7AM.

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