Repost: Garbage Statistics

This may not be the post you’re looking for from the title. It’s an old, odd look at how my brain works, though. It amused me, so I’m reposting it.

Literally. We have a corner lot in the city, with plantings where a lot of people would have lawn, so lots of trash gets blown into our yard and stays for a while. One of the rites of spring is my own personal neighborhood cleanup. I started right after work, and here’s a little rundown of what I found.

  • Greatest decrease, prior year to current year: cigarette butts, down 30%
  • Greatest decrease in item size: cigarette butts, 97% smoked fully

Either the recession and increased taxes are making cigarettes less appealing, or the winter weather, coldest it’s been in several years, is keeping smokers inside.

  • Most frequent item: still cigarette butts (~30)
  • Greatest increase: Styrofoam cups, up 50%
  • Largest item, volume: FedEx envelope (1)

No clothes this year. That usually takes this category.

  • Greatest overall volume: advertising newspapers (4), all sopping wet
  • Greatest single dimension: unspooled cassette tape (4 feet)
  • Most personally disgusting: cigar mouth pieces (2)
  • Most generally disgusting: chewed gum with teeth prints (2)
  • Most obsessive: bus transfer, torn into pieces 1 cm. by 1.5 cm.
  • Saddest item: beads from a piece of kids jewelry with the shiny half worn off (2)
  • Item most likely to make it into a story: broken 2008 Mickey Mouse Christmas ornament (1)
  • Most impossible to gather: pieces of windshield glass from the car that hit the tree two feet inside our fence (100s)
  • Nicest surprise: temperature (79F)
  • Most welcome sight: active earthworms (2)
  • Smallest ratio: energy to ambition (1 hour:infinite)
  • Total volume: 1 medium shopping bag
  • Percent complete: 33%

Back at it this weekend. Then I can trim the lilacs and dispose of the brush pile and pull grass and rearrange the ferns and the hardy geraniums and…whew! Yeah, I’ll be at this a while.

Repost: Garbage Statistics
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One thought on “Repost: Garbage Statistics

  1. 1

    I almost envy you. Not the garbage, but the spring cleanup. And the lilacs. Yard cleanup in my Phoenix suburb is mostly plastic flowers blown in on the leading edge of a storm – one this year – and (dry) sun-baked newspaper flyers. The hired crew with blowers gets the yard waste up and out. The part I really miss is the lilacs. Smelling them. Watching and hearing the bees visiting. Cutting a few to bring inside. And smelling them. And smelling them. And smelling them.

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