NYC –> Shanghai, 36 days & counting: One man’s trash

August 5th, 2013. 36 days.

Ok, so perhaps it’s time for something about NYC of which I am not too fond. Its TRASH!

2013-07-31 23.24.16 I’ve now been here two years and I still cannot get used to the rancid smell I often come across on trash days (and yeah, it’s always trash day somewhere!). Besides the fact that the odor is sometimes down-right offensive, making me scurry along even more quickly than I already walk (I long had a NYC gait before I moved here!), it’s aesthetically unappealing, it obstructs the oft too-narrow sidewalks, and it’s a magnet for the nastiest of creatures (definitely not good for your State of Place!). Don’t get me wrong, I love me some grit – the best cities are often a bit messy and chaotic – but NYC’s trash is just out of control. In comparison, DC (where I lived for four years) didn’t have this issue- but I suppose all of DC’s trash was stored in its alleys. As far as I know, there aren’t really alleys in NYC. But still, why not just leave the trash in the bins and have the collectors dump it from there – at least for the residential buildings (as areas with commercial uses likely have more trash than what fits in the bins? I tried to find an answer to this question on the NYC.gov sanitation site, but all I found was the trash schedule. Perhaps it would just take more time to do so? I guess on the flip side of it, New Yorkers often taken advantage of “freecycling,” sometimes coming across great books, furniture, appliances and the like – and some “recycling scavengers,” as some call them, count on the modest amount of money they get by redeeming recycled goods they’ve collected from the street (although it’s technically stealing). I’d still prefer the trash not be on the street! Now as for smells, there are definitely some less than desired ones in Shanghai, so I guess I can thank NYC for toughening me up in the regard!

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