Sunday, January 14, 2007

Up Close and Personal

My personal experience of encountering garbage on a public venue was when I worked for one of the largest waste management companies in the world. New (office)employees were required to ride with one of the trash collectors for a day while they completed their route. I rode with one of the commercial trash collectors whose route consisted primarily of retail stores and restaurants. What stands out the most from my experience was the stench and enormous size of the Elkhart landfill. Actually being at the landfill, rather on top of it, to empty a full load of garbage half-way through the day made me realize how much trash people (myself included) generate over time. It spread out for acres, with birds circling the dump looking for something to eat, garbage trucks coming and going at a continuous pace, and an odor that I will probably never forget. By the end of the day, I had a new appreciation for trash collectors (and a complete loss of appetite for the rest of the day).

2 comments:

kimlynch said...

Nancy, thanks for sharing that story. Having actually visited a landfill gives you a perspective that other people can't have because we are so detached from our garbage. Once it goes away, we forget about it and never think about where it actually goes. They say if people visited slaughterhouses, they wouldn't eat meat. The same is probably true for visiting landfills. Maybe you're more conscientious of where your garbage is going?

Michelle Verges, Project Director said...

Nancy, what an incredible (and smelly) story! I'm glad you shared that with us. You're right: most of us have no idea what the collective effect our garbage has on the landfill. And the birds! I wonder if the Elkhart birds get as fat as those buzzards did in Santa Monica, CA. Your comment also got me thinking about the documentary. If I get permission to film the landfill for the documentary, will anyone want to join me in that adventure?