February 8, 2006

My own private how-to-throw-out-the-trash echo chamber -- re-echoing!

Today was the day to get all the accumulated junk out of the garage and out to the curb for pick up tomorrow -- trash day. I hired two teenagers, children of a colleague, to do the heavy lifting. Big trash bags, two loveseats, a bed, a beach umbrella, a basketball backstop, plywood, a metal desk, sleds, and some big rolls of carpet. Wait a minute! Can you throw out rolls of carpet here in Madison, Wisconsin, or are these among the things that they won't pick up?

Hang on a minute! Let me check the web and see what the rules are again.

A quick Google turns up:
My own private how-to-throw-out-the-trash echo chamber.

I've blogged before about the difficulties of throwing out the trash properly in Madison. In fact, today, as I was thinking about how to throw a few things out this week, I Googled "madison trash collection" and the second thing on the list was my own previous fretting about how to throw out the trash properly in Madison.

At least the first thing on the list seems to be official rules, but no, that's not Madison, Wisconsin! Google again: "madison wisconsin trash collection." And now the first thing on the list is me fretting about how to throw out the trash properly in Madison! I just hope that if there are other people in Madison struggling with the age-old question of how to throw your trash out properly in Madison and they end up here at my blog, they find it a bit amusing, and not incredibly annoying, because it really already is incredibly annoying to try to figure out how to throw out the trash in Madison.

The worst thing is when you try to do it right and they don't take it, and then you've got to drag it back in from the street and try to figure out a different way to proffer it next week. I tried throwing out a blind, and they didn't take it. Did they just not see it? What else can I do? There's no way to fold it or tie it or put it in anything. So I just continue to harbor it by the side of my house, probably irritating my neighbors who are the ones in a position to see it. I have a bunch of chairs and a heavy table to throw out. Let's see, this looks like the right information, and, based on this there is no reason to think I can't just put the furniture right out there on trash day. But no way am I going to put all the things out at one time. I'm going to play it safe and just put out a test chair this week.
Damn it! I try to find stuff out, and I just find myself, complaining about just finding myself!

Anyway, in case you're wondering, you can throw out rolls of carpet in Madison, Wisconsin. But if they're over 8 feet long, you've got to bend the rolls in half and duct tape them in that position.


XWL said...

It's your world, we're just living in it.

(seemed like the obvious comment)

Also, what's the squirrel situation like at the condo?

(I assume it's far superior)

Is that the real main reason for the move?

Ann Althouse said...

Really, there never was a squirrel in the house.

Jennifer said...

Heh heh. And quxxo thinks its just your blog that's your echo chamber. Turns out its the whole darn web.

He may as well give up and go home. Please.

James Wigderson said...

Did you pay the kids a living wage and kick in for their Social Security?

Dave said...

Funny, as I started to read this post, I recalled your earlier post that you quote.

Thersites said...

Did you call or travel to the Goodwill of Salvation Army or anything like that? Some charities will take stuff off your hands for you and come pick it up. There is probably also a local antiques or used goods dealer who will come and cart away your stuff in the hopes there's something worth money in it. Check the classifieds.

Maxine Weiss said...

Ewwww, I hate seeing someone's old mattress and couch (with the stuffing coming out) junked by the side of the road.


My neighbor got in trouble for leaving her discarded computer monitor at the curb. Haz mat. Where I live, it's against the law to throw an old television set in the garbage. Something about embedded radiation/pollution, and such.

Peace, Maxine

chuck b. said...

Pictures are worth thousands of words...

lindsey said...

If the carpeting matches what's in the house, you may want to leave it for the people who buy your home.

David said...

I miss Madison Garbage Pick up

Everywhere else it seems (like Eau Claire) you have to pay for private haulage - get it in you cart because every bag outside of the cart is $10.

Madison - I once put 2,000 sq. ft. of carpet on the curb and boom it was gone.

Pete said...

In re: the carpet requirements. Talk about intrusive government regulations. But I guess that makes it easier to verify you don't have any bodies rolled up in any old carpet.

And, my, aren't you being ruthless, Ann? Good for you. (Though I'm still opposed to the move, I still wish you luck.)

Ann Althouse said...

David: You pay $10 a bag. I pay $11,000 in property taxes. Occasionally, the taxes pay for something that saves me money. I originally thought I'd need to get a dumpster.

The carpet: it's old, used, and has been in the garage for over a decade.

Pictures: I keep thinking of photographing it, but it actually doesn't look very interesting.

Ann Althouse said...

Pete: I'm glad people oppose the move, because that should mean people will want to live in the house. People have different tastes, and that's good. It's a nice house, someone else will have a great time living here, I've been here 20 years, and I want to live in a new way. Change is good. A factor you might not have thought of: there's a limit in how much capital gain you can make on a house before you start having to pay tax on it.

MadisonMan said...

Did the trash scavengers pick over the trash overnight? I'm always amazed at what people will claim from the curb, but my neighbor scored two (2!) Kirby vacuum cleaners in about 2 years, so now she has one for each floor.

verification: fxxin -- obvious.

David said...

Hi Ann

I paid Madison taxes for 12 years - yes I pay less now,but I get alot less services.

However, my snow plowing is better. Where ever I lived, it always seemed that Madison never felt there was enough snow to send a plow to take care of

John(classic) said...

I have been here for 30 years in a community that was originally rural and is now rapidly suburbifying.

I miss the old days when the universal currency was a six pack of beer.

Snow really deep, deeper than your garden tractor can blow? Put a six pack on the mailbox, the town dump truck plow would take a run up your drive. Need to throw out a boat? Put it on the curb, put a six pack or two on top and it would be gone. Need asphalt for that hole in the drive? A six pack would get your bucket filled from the road crew.

I suppose it was bribery -- but it worked. The cost kept the demand down to when it was really needed, and the service provided was valuable.

Now it is all regular and efficient and doesn't work worth a darn.


Sean E said...

$11K in property taxes?! Wow. Either you're living in a mansion or I really need to stop complaining about the tax rates in my community.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DNR Mom said...

Tsk, tsk. I tried to tell you, Ann. Now no thousands of dolars in estate sale proceeds, no legitimate tax writeoffs. Instead, trash hassles, heaped landfill and other angst.

For your peace of mind: Madison has once monthly pick-up of large items. Call to see when your next one is. Don't email. They hate to answer.

Also, big lawn & leaf type, black, thick mil, trash bags, lined with a cardboard box, will disguise lots of uglies. You may have to bend your castoff window blind, but it'll be taken. Unless, of course, you live in the area in SW Msn where the trash truck driver INSISTS on two or fewer 13 gal white kitchen garbage bags per address. I hear he has his own contract with the city.

Still, good luck with the move, even if you are bad for my business.

--Susan Pride Caulum
Touch of Pride Sales
Estates & Households
We're ToPS

Ann Althouse said...

DNR Mom: Madison picks up large items as a matter of course on regular trash days!

There is a limit on the number of trash bags: it's 6.

anonlawstudent said...

Notch one more for post-modernism. THe boundaries between text and memory and self are thinner every day. Lovely irony; nexttime you google trash in madison, you'll show up twice. Anyone ever read a Borges short story about an infinite library?

Williamethan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.