Conquent: Without Limits
Land Use Planning Division

John Bissell & Associates

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

By Michael Bissell
Posted: 2009-01-31 18:42:43
Shortcut URL:

There's something about going to the dump that take me back to my childhood. Well, that's probably because my step-dad liked to take Saturday mornings and hit the junk seller at the dump, and the swap meet at the Denios Farmer's Market and Auction. I'm not sure why the Chinese food always tasted so good, it should have been revolting after looking at garbage, but, hey, I was a starving teenager, so anything would have tasted great.

But the dump isn't what it was. When we would go to the dump, it was really the dump. You know, the big landfill like the crying Indian stood in front of in those public service announcements. There were bulldozers chugging away and seagulls everywhere, and the stench... There's a very distinct smell of rotting garbage, but in the open air it was bearable.

The Metro Transfer Station up in Northwest Portland is a warehouse. You drive into a building, empty your vehicle of garbage while under cover, and get back in your car and drive out. It could be raining, sleeting, hailing, or a beautiful day, and your garbage will be protected from the elements.

Of course, garbage has changed too. You can take your old CRT monitors to the transfer station, up to seven a day (an interesting yet arbitrary number). They have a hazardous waste section (the guys in the hazmat suits looked like they were doing calisthenics, and I never learned what that was all about) and a yard debris area. And, of course, huge bins for your recyclable materials.

All in all, waste management reminds me how lucky we are to be removed from so much of the, well, crap, that our even recent ancestors, and many people still, deal with every day.

Don't get me started on how cool I think sewers are...

John Bissell: Re: - To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump
2009-02-17 07:37:19

Read “Quicksilver” by Neal Stephenson. In the late 1600’s our hero Jack Shaftoe is traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. He can tell when he is within a couple of days of Paris by the stench of sewage and garbage emanating form the city. We’ve come a long way.

Comment on this blog
Your name:

Your email (will not be displayed):



Enter the text above to help us filter spam: