Monday, February 27, 2012

$400 Trash Cans?

My nesting craze has continued unabated, only picking up steam as I near my due date. It was only a matter of time before my organization zeal turned its unrelenting eye to the trash corner of our apartment.

Our kitchen is not so much a kitchen as a corner of the living space which a high density of appliances. I just asked David to estimate how big it is and he guesses 5 x 3. Feet. It is a tiny little crumb of space. And half of it is covered with trash.

I am referring to literal trash We've got our stainless steel, step-top garbage can and that does the job well. But then next to that is our "recycling center." This is a gross overstatement. It consists of two tiny plastic cans, one purple for paper and one mint green for plastic, with no lids, smashed next to the trash can which is smashed next to the oven. Neither one of the recycling bins is large enough to hold more than two standard-sized recyclable items. Put one carton of milk and one soda can in the plastic bin and it is full. So even if I emptied the things out several times a day (and lets be serious for a second, who does that?) it would still always be full and always look like crap.

Mixed in between the three cans is a pile of "what-the-hell-do-we-do-with-this-shit?" garbage. Mainly, this is electronics like an old laptop someone gave me last year which never worked and batteries. I know I'm not supposed to just throw them out but I don't know what the hell to do with them. So they keep the garbage company.

In my travels to other people's houses, I have seen that not all grown-ups live this way, Other people have recycling areas which are well-maintained and tidy. All it took, it appeared, was a decent-sized bunch of recycling bins, one with tops. How hard could that be?

Not hard at all, it turns out. But really freaking expensive.

To the tune of $400.

Don't know precisely when it happened but since the last time I went trash-can-shopping, about a decade ago, garbage cans have become high-end speciality items. They now have features like "Auto-close" and "Motion Sensor." They are all stainless steel. After some cyber-browsing, I discovered if you're in the market for a garbage can, and you don't want- or can't - spend $70 or more, you basically are stuck with a white plastic swing top. Two or which'll still cost you a good $40. The whole thing was demoralizing, almost enough to make me accept my purple and mint-green garbage-y garbage center.

But then Ikea saved the day. Again.

Because in their marketplace, I helped myself to two tall, rectangular lift-top trash cans which can hold up to two or three days worth or recyclables without me having to empty them out. Together, they cost under $30. Perfection. Bliss.

The only problem which remains is that I'm such a hoarder, I can't bear to part with the old recycling bins yet. I am certain there is a good use for them, somewhere. So they still hover in my garbage corner, though they've done from holding the garbage to becoming the garbage. What can I say? Life's tough.