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Monday, July 26, 2010

Passing the Buck . . . er . . . Couch

Couch on the River Walk - Leaving Your Trash for Someone Else July 25, 2010

If this is your couch, would you please come and get it? (Alternatively: As of 1:19 p.m. Monday, it is still here and in reasonably good shape. It has not been rained on yet! FREE COUCH, EVERYONE! Call me at (503) 338-8646 if you want to check on availability :)

We've been having remarkably beautiful weather the past few days. I walked out my door on the River Walk into the pleasant atmosphere only to find that someone had tried to get rid of their old couch by dumping it in front of the "Cardboard Only" sign on the recycling dumpster.

Cardboard Only Dumpster The blue dumpsters are supplied for free by WOW (Western Oregon Waste) for anyone who needs one for the type of cardboard waste one might collect when running (for example) a retail business with inventory. It's also perfectly OK for passers-by to dump cardboard in them. WOW also supplies (for free pick-up) recycling bins for other materials. One pays for actual trash pick-up, and I have to say it's a service I'm happy to pay for; it's useful, and is not that expensive when compared with other utilities such as a business phone line.

However, when thoughtless people put other types of refuse in the cardboard recycling bin, it becomes the responsibility of the person who requested the free bin on their trash service to pay for separating out the non-cardboard trash or recyclables. Although people throw cans, bottles, and paper into the "cardboard only" dumpster, I have so far not been charged for it. In part, this is because people down on their luck or "traveling light" have often scavenged the returnables to get cash. This is good.

WOW tells me that someone (in this case, me) will be responsible for either paying $35.23 to have them come and get rid of the couch, or (since I don't own a truck), I can find someone with a truck who is willing to take the couch to the dump, and I can pay only the $12.18 dump fee. Most of the River Walk being industrial, there are a lot of dumpsters and recycling bins that are tempting places for people who don't want to take responsibility for their own trash and cast-off articles. But it doesn't just go away. "They" do not pick it up and dispose of it for free.

Please, if this is your couch, come get it and do the right thing.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.


cieldequimper said...


Anonymous said...

This is also why so many thrift/second hand stores go out of business -- too many people dropping off garbage instead of reusable items.

Jacob said...

What about Goodwill? The Salvation Army? A thrift shop?

People can be such dumbasses!

Anonymous said...

Let us know what happens. In our community, the waste management people gave every business who wanted one a cardboard/paper recycling bin to stick inside somewhere an put our only on collection days. The restaurant on the corner has a dumpster in the alley but people don't generally drop their couches, etc there since it tends to be guarde by a black bear.

Halcyon said...

Put an ad on Craig's list or the Freecycle list in your community and it'll be gone in a jiff.

Sorry about the troubles though. It's annoying when people don't follow the rules. Made for an interesting photo though!

Clytie said...

Can you believe the nerve of people? We have people who drop off all manner of junk at the abandoned property across the street - everything from car parts to yard debris to kittens and cats.


Francisca said...

I'm sorry you've been dumped on, Sheryl. That is not nice. What this sad story speaks to, however, is that there are still not sufficient means of disposing of things no longer wanted. I am not familiar with all the options in America, but from reading your post and the comments it seems dumping costs money, no matter where you go, and I could see a reluctance for many, if not most, to pay to get rid of something that in their mind is already history. I recognize that nothing is free (which is why poorer countries have mounds of unattended garbage all over), but it seems to me WOW needs to consider this psychological barrier and propose options that work in order to minimize such irresponsible dumping. Just my 2-cents.

VP said...

It happens here quite often and rarely they are in good shape...

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