Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Garbage Rules!

You may not have thought about it before but each country has their garbage nuances, customs and routines.

In Illinois, the Goo and I separated garbage into a few categories:  paper/cardboard, plastic/glass and finally  trash.  On Thursdays we'd roll the two cans out to the sidewalk for pick-up and then roll them back in on Friday.  Garbage is paid for by the can.  You have to put a sticker on your can that costs about $3 USD.  Recycling is free.

In Korea, I had to separate EVERYTHING, take the elevator down 14 stories, walk across a parking lot and then and put it into the appropriate bin.  There was a bin for glass, one for plastic, one for paper, one for cardboard and one for compost.  I didn't pay for garbage.  Part of the reason for such specific separation was a nasty rumor that circled around school  I heard that you could be fined hundreds of Won if you were caught breaking the garbage rules and didn't separate your trash.  I'm a rule-follower so I always separated.  Korea also charged for using plastic bags  at the store check-out and also you had to pay a deposit for cups like at Starbucks.  Pretty progressive considering that was in 2005.

In Brazil, garbage was separated into two categories.  Organic and other.  I walked my two bags (or most of the time my maid walked the bags) down the hall, down a half flight of stairs and put into one of two garbage bins.  The guard would then pick-up all of the cans and put the garbage someplace.  Again, there I didn't pay for garbage.

This is what I do in India.
Sorry for the fuzzy shot.  It's sooo humid here my camera fogged
up as soon as I walked out my apartment door!  No air in the stairwells.
Yup.  That's my garbage.  I leave my garbage in the hallway outside my apartment.  A woman stops by each day to pick it up.  I've left my plastic bottles and paper out of these bags since I heard that she can sell those things and that way at least some recycling's happening.  I hope.  

In India I will pay for garbage but you're not expected to do that, well, at least in my building.  I'll pay about 100 rupees each month.  That's roughly $2.25 dollars each month for daily garbage pick-up at my door.

Random garbage thoughts on a Tuesday.  Why am I reflecting on garbage collection?  Hopefully, it's just that I'm still fighting the jet-lag.  


  1. I appreciate your totally random post. ;)
    I am thinking of getting this started in Dekalb. Do you think that Ron would pick up my garbage if I left it outside the door?

  2. In Turkey we have a building kapaci (cleaner/maintenace guy). He comes through 2 or 3 times a day to pick up our trash and it's just part of the building fees (which are really cheap). Recycling is another matter. I try to put recyclables in clear bags but it doesn't always happen, I'm ashamed to say.

  3. @ Laura - Ron would totally do it. Maybe it's a new business he could start? Think of the beautiful things he'd find for you...
    @ Angela - I'm kinda in your boat. I saw the woman who additionally cleans our floors as well as garbage toss something out to the street that had been with the plastic. I'll have to find out more as I go.