It’s been twenty-five years since I’ve hauled my garbage to the curb. And even now I don’t have a curb as such. I have a loosely defined area between the road and the ditch. And now that it’s been snowing a few weeks, I can’t determine where the road ends and the ditch begins.
For twenty-five years I’ve been hauling my garbage to the dump. Myself. With my car. Or truck. Which means, sometimes a lot of garbage accumulated between runs to the dump. But now the municipality has closed the dump and initiated a weekly pickup at curbside.
Just before the dump closure, we had a visit from a six-hundred-pound bear. It sussed out our accumulation of garbage and ripped through a solid, double-bolted door. It spread out the buffet and feasted on the choicest tidbits.
We’ve had visits from Bruin before. But never like that. It’s as if it knew we’d never offer such an extravagant smorgasbord again.
Before the snow flew, I timed my deposits at curbside to within a few minutes of pickup. I was determined to foil Bruin. Now that winter’s here, I can put the stuff out the night before, or even the week before. The cold cuts the odour. And so far, critters – both domestic and wild – have not been a problem.
My chief concern is that the municipal snowplow, which operates on a totally unpredictable schedule, will blast my garbage can into oblivion.
Come spring, Bruin will return. No mere bear will resist the allure of miles and miles of rural roads with neatly packaged mounds of garbage. And there will be times when I will put the garbage out a day or two ahead of pickup because business or pleasure commands my presence elsewhere.
It’s a problem. Which has been dumped on us.