Saturday, December 31, 2005

Nashville Scene Can Kiss My White Trash

A small piece ran in the Scene earlier in the year about trash. I was a bit annoyed at the time, but since it hardly seemed like news to me, I just let it go. Well the folks there decided that it was newsworthy enough to run in their year-end issue. Here we go.

From the Scene: "A bunch of spoiled Nashville consumers—about 8,000 of them—who can’t fit a week’s worth of trash into their 96-gallon containers (!) are complaining and asking for more of the giant, tan-colored bins. Solid Waste director Anderson responded to this astonishing insight into just how much crap people generate, then throw away, by advising that these residents stomp on their trash and—shocking, we know—perhaps even consume less and recycle more. Seems logical to us."

My knuckleheaded translation: "A holier-than-thou alternative newsweekly reporter--and at least one editor--have taken it upon themselves to pass judgement on the trash generating habits of about 8,000 Nashville taxpayers. Apparently this reporter finds it to be "astonishing" that some people could generate enough "crap" to fill their 96-gallon containers "(!)" before pick-up day. This reporter traveled to all 8,000 homes and, with his crack investigative team, found that none of these "spoiled Nashvillians" knew how to stomp on their trash, or--shocking, we know--recycle."

I generally like the Scene, but on this brash, uninformend generalization, I must respond thusly: Fuck off. A couple of months after I got my beautiful new, tan dumpster, I managed to fill it up before trash day. My neighbor has two, so I called the nice government worker-lady down at Metro who informed me that I was entitled to a second one. In fact, on Metro's website it says:

"After all trash carts have been delivered, you can request a second cart or a smaller cart at no charge by calling 880-1000 or at www.nashville.gov/trash. A third cart will cost approximately $40."

In other words, it is my God-given right as a Metro taxpayer to have two of those carts!!!

So, Mr./Ms. hip, alternative newsweekly reporter, I know that you have taken a vow of poverty by working at the Scene, and I applaud you. I know you feel that anyone who consumes more than you is just wrong. I know you only drink organic wheatgrass juice culled from your west-facing windowbox and you carve your own Christmas ornaments from antlers that have been shed by the elk population of Yellowstone, using a recycled Indian arrowhead you unearthed while digging your compost pit. It is great that on your way home from the Scene world headquarters, you stop
at the farmers market with your hemp bag and buy staples, then go home and watch documentaries and foreign films on a TV powered by pedaling your stationary bike in your hip, East Nashville duplex (fabricated completely from old "See Rock City" barns) with your two cats. However, not everyone lives like you. And just because I don't live like you, doesn't automatically make me "selfish."

I own a business and often find myself with lots of trash from work in my vehicle when I get home. I also sometimes have large, unweildy items that cannot be "stomped on" or--shocking, I know-- recycled. And since I am no longer allowed to place them next to my trash, I have to devote an entire dumpster to one or two objects. Sometimes I like to make improvements to my property. Have you ever tried to tackle even a small home improvement project with just one of those 96-gallon (!) carts? And don't get me started on Metro giving me one day for brush and leaf collection in the fall, a full month before the 15 trees on my 1/3 acre lot have finished dropping their leaves.

I recycle. I care about the environment. However, since Metro eliminated my option of putting occasional oversized loads or odd shaped items at the curb, I occasionally need two dumpsters. I have been to some really filthy places all over the world. I can assure you that me "selfishly" using two carts, six or seven times a year, is not an environmental hazard.

Perhaps you interviewed 7,999 of the Nashvillians who requested a second cart. Maybe all of them are
tree-hating, baby-seal killing, motor-oil-dumping assholes who go out of their way to consume more stuff than you so they can generate more trash than you, just to piss you off. However, that isn't the case with me. I know the Scene is not a traditional media outlet. However, I think there is a rule that still applies: Generalizations bad. Facts good.

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