We used to have garbage pick up twice a week, where the guys would ride along the sides of the truck, jump off, heave our cans into the big receptacle, hop back on, and drive away. Boy, did our twins love to play "garbage man" by hanging out of the minivan while I backed out of the garage with the sliding doors open.
Recently our city began an easier system of recycling. We traded in our large can for two smaller ones: one for trash, and one for bottles, boxes, cans, and the like in exchange for once-a-week pick up. This is good for the environment, for sure, but there are some technical issues. The new garbage trucks are automated, which means that the cans are lifted by a mechanical arm. Even though there are still two guys in the truck they don't seem to notice when the trash cans clonk back to the curb and fall over, or if trash starts rolling in the street.
(One time I waved at the collectors on my walk with Katie, just to be friendly. When I came back home our can was on its side and a bag had exploded in the street with rotting jack-o-lantern remains. HELLO!!!!)
Anyway, yesterday before school Harrison heard the recycling truck come by so he stood on the driveway to watch. "Mom! Mom!" he screamed excitedly, "They thew our recycling can away in the recycling truck! The whole thing!"
Cameron ran out there to see. "Oh wow, they did Mom! Ha, now the guy has to climb on the truck to get it back out! Oh my gosh, did you see that? He chucked it off and now it has a dent!"
The garbage man looked at the boys. Because he had an audience he reluctantly kicked the dent out of the can.
They moved on to our neighbor's house. The cans were too close together and the mechanical arm knocked the regular trash can over. Cameron and Harrison jumped up and down on the driveway yelling and laughing, "Oh no! Look at that!"
The garbage man was clearly annoyed by our kids but he got out and righted the can.
Makes you wonder how much time they save with the automated truck, eh? There's nothing like a kid mocking your performance to make you get out and do the right thing.