Earth Day 2009

Earth Day 2009 has slipped by us, nearly unnoticed. Rain for the past few days, and today, has kept us more inside this week than we had intended. More yard cleaning, more planting, more walking about in the lower yard, were what we had in mind. Instead we have worked inside.

But the day actually was successful in one regard. Three weeks ago Lisa discovered that the City of Clarksburg picks up yard waste during the summer, beginning in April. I called the City of Clarksburg Public Works to ask about the schedule and the rules, and found that they pick up every two weeks, on the same day Waste Management picks up recycling.

So Lisa and I tied small sticks into bundles and carried them to the edge of Hartland Street. We bought two large garden tubs for vines and leaves, and Lisa filled them with part of what she had accumulated over the past few weeks. And on Tuesday we bought a bundle of five 30-gallon paper yard waste bags (from Kroger — neither Home Depot nor Lowes carry them here).

Tuesday evening I stood in a slow drizzle stuffing soggy vines and leaves into the bags, then hauled the bags and the two tubs to sit next to the stick bundles. My sodden gloves still hang on porch, trying to become dry.

We weren’t sure what would result from all this activity, how much of what we had gathered might be carried away, so we watched eagerly this morning when a small white garbage truck labeled “City of Clarksburg Compost Collection” stopped next to our house. Two men stepped out of the cab, donned gloves, and quickly dropped all nineteen stick bundles into the back of the truck, running the back gate to compress their load. Then they emptied the tubs into the truck. Then, amazingly, they emptied the yard waste bags into the truck, packed them reasonably neatly into the tubs, and drove away.

So this is our Earth Day event for 2009. Nineteen bundles of sticks, two tub loads of vines and leaves, and an additional five 30-gallon yard bags full of vines and leaves sent off to become compost for the city. And we got our bags back.

And in two weeks we’ll repeat the process. At least nineteen more bundles of sticks should be ready by then, and we’ll refill the tubs and bags with the rest of the vines that are piled by the fence.

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