Nowadays I have a camera in my mobile phone, so virtually anywhere I am, I can take a picture.
There was a morning, back in 1993 or so, when I wish I’d had a camera with me. I was waiting for a tram to work outside my old flat in Power Street, Hawthorn. That place was what you’d call “handy for public transport”. The city-bound tram stop was literally at the end of the driveway; to Camberwell and East Burwood was across the street. If you were headed towards the city, you could hear the tram screeching around the corner, just down the road, so you knew if you had to hurry to the stop. The railway station was 8 minutes’ walk away, down the sidestreets, and overall this was the quicker to get into the city on weekdays. Two other tram routes (69 and 70) were also in walking distance. It was PT heaven.
So anyway I was waiting for a tram to East Burwood when two garbage trucks came past, one in each direction. They stopped opposite each other, and the garbos on the back of each one jumped off to empty numerous bins into the backs of the trucks. They probably acknowledged each other too, in that non-waving, nod of the head and gruff “uhhh” kind of manly way. They finished with the bins, threw them back onto the nature strip and jumped onto the backs of their trucks and drove off.
I think it was soon after that that they phased out that kind of garbage collection, in favour of wheelie bins. Such a picture would have captured an everyday scene which, like chimney-sweeps and milkmen, have completely vanished from the landscape. When I was a kid, the garbos generally came past very early, at least when we lived on main roads like Hotham Street and Inkerman Road. We sometimes jokingly referred to them as garbologists.
It came to mind because I was clicking around on the council web site and found a page about the phasing out of recycling crates, also in favour of wheelie bins. Apparently ongoing reforms to workplace health and safety had a part in it, though I suspect mechanisation and single-person operated garbage trucks are simply much cheaper to run.
To get to the point: I rang up the council yesterday to arrange to swap my 240 litre general rubbish bin for a 120 litre one. I rarely put more than about 30 litres per week in it, and although it doesn’t save much annually having the smaller bin (about $30 I think), I thought I might as well switch so the bin takes up less space. Besides, the bin I inherited when I moved in has a small hole in it.
Evidently I have to leave the bin lying down on the nature strip, like a disabled turtle, and they’ll come past sometime in the next few days and switch it over. Easy.
Edit: A link in the original post hid a bunch of text which left it making no sense. Link removed.