Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Garbage Problem

Since we returned to San Miguel, we have been in a garbage problem. Normally the garbage trucks come through our Colonia three times a week. You know they are approaching your house because they beat a iron rod on an thick piece of metal. So you gather your garbage and take it out to the truck. There isn't any setting your garbage can out in front of your house and leaving it for the guys to pickup except in a few higher-end neighborhoods and somehow they have managed to arrange to leave the garbage on hooks and the guys will pick it up. Most pick-up days they will come about the same time but you can never be sure of that.

Sometimes we fussed about not knowing when they would come down our street because we needed to be home to hand the garbage up to the guys in the bed of the truck. Silly us. Now the situation is worse. There has been a city election and the guys in power lost. They are now lame ducks so it seems like there isn't enough money in the treasury to repair and fuel and keep all the trucks running. This week when we went to the tianguis there were about 7 trucks parked behind the tianguis, loaded with garbage but just sitting there looking very dilapidated.....probably waiting to be fixed. We are only seeing about one garbage pickup a week but you never know if it will be Monday, Wednesday or Friday or what time of day it might happen.

So what is a citizen of San Miguel do when they have garbage and no pickup? We load it in the car and go out looking for a garbage truck. Sometimes at night they have some places that they park them so you can off-load there or sometimes we just go driving up and down the streets looking for a garbage truck in the Colonia where we think they might be. We are hopeful that the new administration that will take over in October will get some money from the State. If not we will have a garbage problem until January or February when the city starts to collect property taxes.

If not knowing if or when your garbage might be picked up would drive you crazy, it is another reason not to move to San Miguel.


DanaJ said...

I'm catching on to the theme of these latest posts....and you haven't swayed me in my desire to someday live in SMA. Not yet!

Jonna said...

I feel so sorry for you guys in the Bajio when I read about you having to get up in the wee hours to personally hand off your garbage, this though is even worse. Here in my part of the centro of Merida, they pick it up 6 days a week, in the late afternoon or early evening. We just leave it on the street in front of the house and away it goes.

Diary of a third age woman said...

In Oaxaca, in the colonia whereI live, the garbage truck comes everyday, around 6 am.

The truck parks at the end of the street.

Everyone on the street takes their garbage to the end of the street and stands in line to hand the garbage over to the garbage collectors, at least that's what I'm told.

I have an arrangement with the people who own the property I'm living on. They also live on the property.

I put my garbage into their garbage can and they take it to the garbage truck. They are very nice people.

Billie said...

Dana, I hope that you do get to live in MX one day....especially SMA. Most of the time these things just leave us in wonder and with a giggle. But there are people who move here and get upset about things like this.

Okay, okay, Jonna and third age woman, rub it in. LOL

DanaJ said...

The city of Puebla might be a better fit for me.
I may be too weird for San Miguel.

glorv1 said...

Wow! Oh boy. You really have to do without a lot and you are still so very happy to be there. I admire your strength. I couldn't do it. I am spoiled with all the luxuries we have in the USA. I guess there is good and bad no matter where you are at. You go Billie!

Bob Mrotek said...

My turn,
Here in Irapuato in my colonia they pick up the garbage from the curb Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 9:pm. No problems.
I have a suggestion for you Billie. Some enterprising San Miguel folks could get together and form a garbage cooperative and buy a decent truck and hire away some of the city garbage "technicians" and go into the private hauling business. You would probably get plenty of business and the city wouldn't care as long as you...ahem...took care of the right people :)

Billie said...

Dana, I'm not sure you can get too weird for SMA. We have more than our share of characters.

Gloria, it isn't strength that keeps me here. It is a sense of adventure everyday.

Bob, Bob, Bob, you are starting to talk about WORK. No, thank you. That would mean paper work and taxes, etc. But I'm sure that some of the enterprising capitalist who have settled here might be interested in your idea.

Tina said...

Today we heard the "bell" of the basura truck! But it wasn't on our street. So our gardener grabbed our handtruck, and headed out to find it. Came back for the rest, and headed out again. Great day in the morning, our garbage is GONE! Now we wait to see if will be another 10 days before the truck returns. Sigh.

Babs said...

Ha, Billie NO garbage truck EVER comes on my street. So for eight years I put it in the back of the Pathfinder, drove down on Aurora St at 9PM and waited for the truck to come with all the windows down because of the smell. To add insult to injury, no one would help you heft those big bags up into the truck. SO I made the bags lighter so I could sling them up into the truck.
I often laughed at what a sight I must be........and thought that my old friends in the USA would NEVER, NEVER believe little old prissy me was behaving so....I finally wised up and now pay the gardener to bring his old rattle-trap car and haul it off - to where I have no idea and quite frankly I don't care........I guess to the dump. Isn't it all a trip?

Leah Flinn said...

In Veracruz city, the garbage truck comes everyday except Sunday. I have had no problems with setting mine out the night before. In the morning it's always picked up.

I like Bob's idea, but I would avoid the enterprising aspect. Just try to find enough citizens in your community who would be willing to participate in collecting the garbage. I like the idea of citizens solving their own problems collectively.

DanaJ said...

Billie, I want to ask if the garbage collection hassle has changed how you run your household? Do you reuse, reduce and recycle more, out of necessity?
Do you have less garbage because of the process?

Billie said...

Dana, our garbage "footprint" is already reduced in SMA because of how we buy. If we just had room for a compost pile, I could reduce it even more.