Friday, December 7, 2012

Garbage Hell

Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love San Francisco. I gush about it's beauty and quirkiness. There are times, however, when the city I love is beyond ridiculous. The recent need to pass a law to prevent the growing public nudity craze comes to mind. There are so many others.  Last night I witnessed the ridiculousness first hand at my front door.

It was early evening, maybe 6 PM and I was cooking myself a quesadilla, reveling in the fact that no one would be home for dinner and I didn't have to cook a full meal. The nurse was halfway through giving Maggie her meds, a process that takes 90 minutes. They wouldn't need my help for another hour.  I was ready to sit down and relax. I heard the doorbell and presumed it was another person raising money for some worthy charity. About half the time I don't even answer the door, but I did last night.

It wasn't any worthy charity at all. Instead it was four people, two women on my porch and two men down the stairs on the sidewalk. They were from the City and they were here to "educate me" about my garbage habits.

Yes. The GARBAGE COPS came to my door and made me burn by dinner. (Don't worry, I composted it)

You may recall this entry Maggie World: Garbage Cop from a month ago when I witnessed the garbage cop inspecting my garbage very early in the morning. This was a follow up visit to "educate" me on the proper use of the garbage system. They were very nice but  apparently I am headed for garbage jail or garbage hell if I don't straighten up.

My reaction was less than favorable.  I told them:

1) I had seen the guy with his head in my garbage can with a flashlight looking for errors at 5:45 in the morning. If they insist on looking that closely for problems, they will certainly find them because NO ONE can pass a white glove test like that, especially when it comes to the dirty world of garbage,

2) that there are several nurses here taking care of Maggie and I cannot control where they put various pieces of garbage any more than I can control those who scavenge through the cans after they are out on the street, and

3) that we are extremely compliant with all the rules and we recycle 100 times more than anyone else on the block (because we have so much garbage, but I left that out) and that I would think they would be here congratulating us on our 98% compliance instead of chastising us for our 2% (if that) failings.

They assured me they weren't here to chastise only to educate. As my eyes widened in disbelief a bit more they handed me an "educational"  brochure. The fancy brochure starts our nice enough

but when you open it you find out this is THE LAW!

As I glanced at this, I wondered about the cost to both the environment and the taxpayers for such a slick publication and knew exactly which receptacle in which to place it. .They suggested perhaps I could instruct the nurses. I was very nice, but I was losing patience fast. I inhaled sharply and said "you don't understand, this is as good as it's going to get and it is very very good. I would think you would be rewarding me."

Please understand something. The message they are spreading is not objectionable to me.  I think it is very important to recycle. The point is WE DO SO RELIGIOUSLY. I have a problem with the priorities of the city to employ an entire garbage police force who drive around in a city car, partially blocking my driveway for an hour while they make their "rounds" "educating" scofflaws like me, especially considering  I am already getting an A in recycling. 

They asked if I had any questions and I said, "Yes I do. Why is it that there is money for FOUR of you to be garbage cops and come to my door after dark but my daughter has to take furlough days from school. Why can she not get the services she needs but garbage is a priority?" 

They didn't have an answer.  

Do you? 

Please consider the environment before printing this blogpost.

1 comment:

  1. I moved out of SF right when the big garbage brew-ha-ha started. Living in Marin isnt much better, garbage-wise. We have had our difficulties with the garbage men. We have found that a six pack of good beer placed on top of the garbage on garbage night seemed to work for us. We are now fast!
    Hopefully our garbage man doesnt get a DUI and blame me!!


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