>Trash Day (by A. Lincoln)


We moved from Railroad Street in Gordon, Ohio in 1962 and ended up in Brookville, Ohio. In Gordon we did not have a trash collector but still had a toilet cleaner. I don’t remember how much it cost us to have the toilet cleaned out but the last time I remember it was owned by a man named Schultz from Greenville. They had a tank on their truck with a suction hose and sucked the muck up. You could always tell somebody was having their toilet cleaned when you got close to Gordon and the wind was blowing just right. The smell wasn’t as bad as it was when you cleaned the vault out by yourself. I had a Maxwell House coffee can that I nailed onto a long tobacco lath and used it as a kind of dipper. Dip it and dump it into a 5-gallon bucket–carry the bucket over to a hole and dump it. That was really a bad smell.

Our trash was put in a 55-gallon steel drum and it sat there until it was full and then I used to do what old people did when I was a little kid running around in a dress with curly hair–they burned it. I used to set coal oil on fire and it would burn any paper items in the trash and the paper on cans would be burned off. Then I would mash the glass and tin cans until it was a compact mess on the bottom of the barrel. In time, though, the barrel got full and had to be emptied. Nobody came to pick it up so I used to did a hole and roll the barrel over and dump the contents in the hole. If you dug it deep enough it would be out of the way and it never hurt anything.

Here, in Brookville, we set our trash out in trash bags on Thursday. And recyclables are set out on Mondays. The photo is of our trash we set out this morning. [A. Lincoln]

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