This is a boring post about trash day. Go ahead and click here for a new google search or here for Jaimie Oliver’s restaurant guide to Amsterdam. He is charming in a I’d-let-you-cook-for-me-every-night kind of way.

But taking the trash out is different in the city and I didn’t consider the adjustment. We live in the heart of downtown above a sandwich shop. Which means our ‘street’ is more of a walking alley between shops and apartments co-existing in the center of Amsterdam. Within 20 feet of our door there are two restaurants, one bar, H&M, and Espirit. Walk another 20 feet in either direction and you hit a square filled with cafes or streets filled with more Zara’s and H&M types. There is no ‘common’ trash bin that residents throw garbage. Nor do we have a personal bin that we set out on the curb every Thursday. Instead we were told to ‘watch’ the major shopping street to see when they set out trash bags on the sidewalk. So we waited. Every Wednesday and Saturday H&M sets out piles of cardboard and trash bags. The trash trucks drive down the street around 10:30 and toss all bags into the back. We have about a 3 hour window to drag our trash down the stairs and out the door. One Wednesday we missed the truck so we just set it next to a store on Thursday night. Someone took care of it by Friday morning:)

I re-read that post, boring…and I bet totally normal for anyone living in New York, Boston, London…But I didn’t expect to be surprised by trash removal.





4 thoughts on “Garbage

  1. I first read this at work and couldn’t respond immediately. But since reading it, I’ve decided, contrary to your claim, trash removal is actually kind of fascinating. I’ve grown accustomed to having three trash cans, in which I separate my trash (and have them removed to three different places)? Are we the only nation obsessed with “properly” removing our trash (and in a very private way)? I think of the ways trash was…uhhh…”removed” in Papua New Guinea. Anything from thrown under a house to thrown in the river to burned; it depended on the convenience of the day, not the type of trash. Cultural trash removal could actually be an intriguing book. I commission you for the project. 😉

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