A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

A Year In New York header image 2

Day 357: Why I’ll Miss My Trash Chute

June 22nd · No Comments

img_7880The chore I most enjoy in my New York apartment is carrying the trash across the hallway to the refuse room. I drop the bag down the trash chute, and instead of walking away, I hold the door open and listen.

The bag bangs and rattles down the chute in a loud and satisfying way. It is a journey of only five floors but seems to take forever, long enough for me to reflect what makes this chute so much better than the trash cans I have known.

With my chute, I don’t have to carry my waste to the trash bin in the side yard, or carry the bin to the curb every week, or worry about the trash can overflowing. Instead, I enjoy the sound of the bag arriving in the basement Dumpster with a soggy, feathery crash. Gone!

The chute works because of invisible elves. Every trash system relies on elves, of course – the Garbage Truck Elves who whisk the garbage cans off the curb, and the Dump Elves that store our nasties someplace we can’t see them, and sometimes Recycling Elves, the most magical of all, who transform empty cans of Campbell’s soup into the chassis of a Ford Focus.

The trash-chute system employs even more elves, including the Dumpster Removal Elf, the Refuse Room Cleaning Elf, and the occasional services of the Clogged Garbage Chute Elf. It’s like Santa’s Workshop around here.

Not to say that trash chutes are always problem-free. There are unspoken rules, rules so memorable when broken that one rarely makes the same mistake twice. Take the Bag Your Trash rule. I discovered it that time I shook the contents of my vacuum-cleaner tube down the chute. Who knew there’s an updraft?

Handfuls of dust blew into my face, and suddenly the air of the refuse room was thick with lint. I beat a quick retreat and left one more chore for the Dustpan Elf.

In a few weeks I move out of this apartment building and return to the horizontal world of the trash can. I will miss the trash chute, its dramatic noises and the magical elves.

I will save my pennies for the day when, shopping at Target, I spy my first garbage robot.

Tags: Deep Thoughts · Why I Love This Town

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment