The therapeutic benefits of taking out the garbage

For 30 years my wife and I have owned a getaway home 95 miles north of New York City. Our village has many charms and there’s much to do, from foraging at the farmer’s market to riding a scenic rail trail. There’s a great book store and first-run movie theater, plus horse, dairy, and alpaca farms within a 10-minute drive. I’ve spent many an afternoon shagging fly balls to my two sons at the local ball fields.

But one of my favorite weekend activities — I kid you not — is taking out the garbage. Let me explain.

In the city, garbage and recycling bags are piled on the sidewalk, stuffed down trash shoots, and jammed into tiny containers outside of brownstones, which are magnets for oversized rats. I live in a service building, so I’m lucky I can place my trash and recyclables outside the kitchen door in a stairwell where a porter comes to whisk them away. I dutifully break down boxes, separate the bottles and yogurt containers, and bundle the newspapers but I can’t wait to get it over with and get back into our apartment.

The country is different.

At our house, the garbage bins stand at the far end of our backyard fronting the street behind us. Of course, I could simply march through the yard to reach them but at night the grass is wet and there are bats flying around. Recently some mammal — a groundhog or raccoon — has been leaving piles of dung. Plus, you have to slip through a tricky gate, where I’ve twisted my ankle more than once.

Instead, I wait until the kitchen is spotless after dinner — usually around 10:30 p.m. — grab the garbage and haul it around the block to the bins. I look like a hobo Santa carrying …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


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