When I lived in the city, over the span of my 55 years, I think you can count on one hand the number of times that I visited a landfill site. Frankly, most of them would have been in my childhood days.
Over sixteen short months of enjoying rural life, I have already surpassed that number and I honestly don’t see an end in sight. Not only is it a great convenience to have a landfill site ten minutes away, but for the purposes of maintaining a country property, I am seeing how proximity is an asset (… but not so close that you can smell it).
It’s not that we produce huge amounts of garbage or anything. We are very much into sorting our recyclables and using our compost bin religiously. With those tools, we are able to keep our weekly output to well under one garbage bag per week.
For our overages above and beyond our two bag weekly limit, blame Mother Nature!
Between weeding and pruning the garden, dead branches falling off the mature trees and black walnuts littering the yard (for which neither we, nor our nearby petting zoo, have any use), we sometimes accumulate full yard waste bags at an astonishing rate.
We also know that the best defence in keeping rodents away from the house, is to not store yard waste for lengthy periods. Any accumulation of branches, sticks and garden waste is attractive shelter or nesting material in the eyes of squirrels, chipmunks and other small wildlife. The key is to haul the excess to the dump as soon as possible.
Our first visit to the dump was a few months after our move to the country, for a “hazardous waste” drop off day.
After a prolonged period of Covid-19 lockdown, we were overjoyed to actually have somewhere to go, even if it was a field trip to the dump. We were just THAT starved for entertainment, if you can call a trip to the dump “entertainment”.
Plus, given that we moved soon after the pandemic started, as much as we would have liked to unload those old paint cans, CFL bulbs and batteries before moving, there was no opportunity to do so. We moved with them and stored them until an opportunity like this presented itself.
After unloading those items, we were thrilled by the additional space we made in the basement. It was the same euphoric feeling I get after a good round of spring cleaning.
Fast forward to the following June, and regular readers know how exasperated I got with our apple tree that gave us more apples than we knew what to do with. Before I was able to strike a deal with a petting zoo, to whom I could deliver the excess apples to use as feed for their pigs, we had to get rid of the damaged fallen apples as soon as we could, given the attraction for the bugs (and likely animals, given the bite marks I could see in some of them). Moreover, at that time, we hadn’t set up our compost bin yet, so we didn’t have that option. Just the same, the amount of excess apples would have overwhelmed our composter.
A run to the dump, to the yard waste section, brought with it a huge sigh of relief that we didn’t have apples decomposing in our garage, attracting bugs or vermin, and creating bigger problems later. Fortunately, the dump gave us the outlet we needed until we found a more constructive use for the excess apples.
There were some industrious weeks where we suddenly found ourselves with double-digit numbers of bags of yard waste waiting to be transported. A trip to the dump was our way to trip the overflow valve and unload the excess to keep the property nice and clean.
As a matter of fact, the day I wrote the first draft of this post, I made a run to the dump to offload six yard waste bags containing weeds, chopped branches and black walnuts.
After such a journey, when I come home and see the garage is neat and tidy again, with no yard waste bags waiting to be moved to the curb, I get a huge sense of relief and satisfaction.
Back in the city, I recall that we had a few weeks in spring and fall where the municipality would offer curbside yard waste pickup. Unfortunately, we don’t have that out here, but I completely understand the likely reason. If our little property yields this much yard waste, I can only imagine how much would be generated by owners of larger properties, multiplied by the population of rural residents. They would need to unload the garbage truck every few houses, I am certain of it.
Just the same, I am so grateful that we have access to a nearby landfill site to unload our excess yard waste, to keep the home and garden neat and tidy.
Not only does it bring with it a sense of accomplishment, but also a little moment of spring cleaning euphoria… and sometimes, a little entertainment value.
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Have a great day,