Thursday, February 11, 2016

Taking out the Trash

Such an easy chore to take out the trash - NOT!  At least not here in Englishtown.  Oh, it's easy to take it out of the cabana.  We bag it up and then stack the bags underneath the cabana until it's time make a trash run.  And we hope that no dogs find it before we can make the trash run.  It's the trash run itself that can pose problems.  We like to take the trash to the nearest landfill about twice a month.  Sometimes that frequency is just not possible. The most recent "sometimes" lasted from October through January; 4 months of trash!  It is such a relief to have the trash cleared out of our house (click to listen).
Four months worth of trash loaded into our work boat.
Trash accumulates when you are in the midst of a construction project.  So much packaging for supplies, especially for the things that are shipped from the US.  Boxes inside boxes, taped up for shipping, untaped and retaped by Customs.  Fortunately, our shipping agent, Easy Shipping to Belize (highly recommended - very professional and helpful), consolidates many items to minimize boxes.  But still we accumulate trash faster than we can get rid of it. A big, perhaps even the biggest, source of our trash is what we collect off the beach.  Mostly plastic shoes, bottles, toothbrushes, etc.  An unending source of trash that is sometimes more than we can handle.  It hasn't been too bad lately.

Yesterday was the first day that we (read "Dennis and Nevan") were able to make a trash run since October.  Various events conspired to keep us out of the landfill.  The main thing was the deplorable state of the Monkey River Road (MRR).  Other things that keep us from making the trip are rough seas that keep us from getting the trash to the MRR and the car being in for repairs.  Below is the route we take to get to the landfill with the MRR in red.
The route to the landfill from WilDen (our place).  The sort of cross-hatched areas between the MRR and the sea are shrimp farms.
We compost all our food waste and lots of paper waste.  But we are still left with cardboard, plastic, glass, metals - all of which would be recycled in the US, but not so here.  The first thing to do in preparation for making a run to the landfill is to make sure the bags are still intact and closed.  The strong UV light degrades the plastic bags in short order; nothing worse than picking up a bag of trash and having it fall apart on you, literally.  Then you load the bags and loose items into the boat for the short ride (in purple on the Google Earth image above) from WilDen to the beginning (or is it the end?) of MRR.  Then off-load the bags into the car or truck.  Our car is being repaired, so we sought the use of our neighbor Nevan's truck for this trip to the landfill.  Good thing since it would have taken at least 5 trips in the car.  It took about 40 minutes to drive the 12 unpaved miles of MRR and then just a few minutes on the Southern Highway to reach the landfill.  Once at the landfill, you carefully make your way along the pot-holed track back to one of the "big holes" into which you throw your bags.  As the "big holes" get filled, they are burned to make room for more trash to be thrown on top.  Eventually the "big hole" is no longer even a small hole and new "big hole" is dug.  Sometimes they scrape the track to make it easier to get to the big hole and sometimes they even scrape dirt over the old big holes.  It's not a very sophisticated operation.  But it is free and fairly close by.  Since there is no other option, that pretty much settles it.

The view from our house is so much nicer with no trash bags in the boat.
I never tire of looking at this.
The greater yellowlegs don't care about the trash as long as it is not in the water.
Two of the three greater yellowlegs that have been visiting our house this winter.
A dusky-capped flycatcher hangs out in the tropical almond tree in front of our house.
The view to the west of our house is pretty nice, too.  You can see why those are called the Cockscomb Mountains.  They are also called the Sleeping Giant.  I think he is having a good dream ...
The Cockscomb in outline against the sky.

18 comments:

  1. Those views are idyllic. Wow! As for trash, our dumpsters are right across the street. So we only accumulate THREE months of trash in our utility room before we haul it downstairs (not really, but sometimes we have three DAYS-worth out there).

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    1. No dumpsters here, but also no noise from them being emptied at 4:30AM! I am happy with the trade off.

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  2. Makes our weekly collection of one type of trash or the other, outside the house, quite idyllic. Unfortunately we can't look at "after it's gone" views such as yours, which I'm sure more than compensate for the trash run.

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    1. It's really not so hard; it just takes half a day out of your life! I did get some good views of fork-tailed flycatchers at the landfill a couple of times.

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  3. Oh my, that's quite a job, such a relief when it's over I'm sure... I think the 'Sleeping Giant' may be snoring. ;-)

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    1. Sort of how we feel after a trash run. Another aspect of living off the grid with its pros and cons. The pros still win in our minds. :-)

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  4. When I think that our dustbin lorry calls every Friday and takes away our rubbish and also our newspapers and plastic you make me realise just how lucky we are.

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    1. Yes, it is a good thing that pace of life is slower here because we need more time to get things done! I do wish we could "magic" the trash away, though.

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  5. The Flycatcher - what a colourful little bird Wilma.

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    1. It does love that almond tree, which puts it right eye level for us most of the time. Great fun to watch it do its flycatching thing.

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  6. That's a lot of work and effort to get rid of the rubbish; makes me appreciate my weekly collection even more now.
    Love those Greater Yellowlegs.

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    1. Those Yellowlegs are so entertaining. They "graze" up and down our beach and each time they reach the dock it is as if they have never seen the dock before. They are usually too chicken to walk under it, so they fly over with much to-ing and fro-ing first. Recently, the braver one of the three has ventured to walk under it, although it takes a few false starts before it manages to go all the way.

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  7. Hi Wilma,
    Never thought how lucky we are to have our stake-bed truck come by and pick up the trash, and they do it weekly. Big entertainment for the dogs as they are sure the dustmen are stealing valuable stuff. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers,
    Dave

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    1. When I was a child, my family lived in a rural area for about half a year and I remember we had to deal with our trash then. It was quite exciting when our mother accidentally started a fast-moving grass fire while burning the combustible trash. I recall that the Volunteer Fire Department was needed to put it out.

      Good for the dogs to alert you to the theft of your valuable trash!

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  8. And yet all I have to do is pull the bag out of my trashcan and walk a few yards to dump it. I'm spoiled - so many of us are and don't acknowledge it.

    I love that little flycatcher. What a beautiful birdie.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Robyn! Thanks for visiting! It is easy to take things for granted - until you don't have them anymore. Today we were watching a trogon in the tree. They make a very pleasant call, like a mellow woodpecker. Hope the post-Valentine's hysteria has died down.

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  9. A rare bird here in the UK, but there is currently a Lesser Yellowlegs in Norfolk.

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    1. That is an exciting development, Derek. This is the first time these greater yellowlegs have stayed for more than a few days. They have been here for several months now and we get to watch them every day. They have become quite accustomed to our presence.

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