I grew up outside of town, and we didn’t have garbage pick-up. I think we probably could have arranged for it if we really wanted it, but my dad secretly loved going to the dump.
Every few weeks, when the garbage barrels behind the garage filled up, we’d head to the Brady Road Landfill. It was kind of a father-daughter bonding experience – we were weird.
My dad even had a dump song that we’d sing on the way there. The lyrics consisted of two and a half words repeated over and over again to the melody of Rossini: William Tell Overture.
“To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da dump, to da dump, to da dump dump dump! To da duuuuuump, to da dump dump dump!”
Like I mentioned, we were weird.
After dumping our garbage in the stinky landfill, we’d sneak over into the scrap metal pile. This pile was the reason I enjoyed going to the dump – it was always full of hidden treasures.
We picked up all kinds of things from that metal pile over the years – bikes, basketball hoops, weed wackers, a Super Nintendo with controllers, and other stuff that you wouldn’t believe someone would just throw out. We’d come out empty-handed pretty often, but it was still fun to scavenge. Sometimes our dump finds would need some work, like fixing the chain on a bike, but my dad was good at that stuff.
Now-a-days, they don’t really let you scavenge anymore.
This post makes my family sound like a bunch of hillbillies, and maybe we were, but I like to think of us more as conservationists, reusing usable dump stuff.
Dump scavenging isn’t necessarily limited to small town folk, but I’d imagine it’s not a common activity for city dwellers with regular garbage pick-up. Now that I think about it, it’s likely not a common activity for anyone, just good-hearted, dump-scavenging conservationists (who also happen to dump garbage in the landfill).