Friday, February 6, 2009


This may be boring to most Americans, but I reader in Singapore wrote me and asked how Americans disposed of their garbage and trash. The method I'm showing is how we do it in Valencia County, but it is pretty much standard throughout the USA.

First, the community provides each household with a standardized trash can. Ours is blue plastic, with a rated capacity of 200 pounds (90.8 kg). (If you have something you want to dispose of that exceeds that weight, it is your responsibility to transport it to the dump.) During the week you put all your garbage and trash in the container. On the assigned day that trash on your street is to be picked up, you must roll the container out to the curb. Now, follow the photos above.

1. The truck comes close to the curb, then stops. A mechanical arm reaches out and encircles the container.

2. The arm lifts the container.

3. At the top the arm tilts the container, emptying it into the truck. With the trucks mirrors the driver can monitor the entire process. Inside the truck a large hydraulic press compacts the trash as necessary. Then the driver moves on to the next house.

Tomorrow: Here's what happens to the truckloads of trash.

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