How do you throw a trash can away?

We bought a new trash can a year or two ago. It held 55 gallons of bad luck from the very beginning. The lid blew off one of the first times we put it out at the curb. We never saw the lid again. Not long after that, we filled it and one of the plastic handles snapped off in my hand when I tried to pick it up. After that, we kept it in a backup capacity. Sometimes I would fill it with bags if we had an exceptionally messy week. Other times Meka filled it with cardboard and office paper and other recycling that they don’t take curbside.

Even in this reduced capacity, the trash can has still suffered some serious slings and arrows. A few weeks ago we cleaned out the garage. The primary garbage can was filled and even our old backup receptacle was heavy with trash. I lugged it to the street and in the process of setting it down, the side cracked open like a big blue egg. I tried patching it up with duct tape, but that was a temporary solution at best.

This brought up a serious problem. How do you throw away a trash can? This wasn’t just a matter of philosophy, but of practical necessity. Meka got out a big black marker and wrote TRASH on the side of the can. I put it out for the garbage man, but he didn’t throw it away. We added THIS CAN IS TRASH the next week. Still no dice, though it was emptied completely. Meka even tried reverse psychology. She crossed out TRASH and put FOR RECYCLING on the side of the can. To my surprise that seemed to work. I came home Thursday afternoon and the garbage can was gone. However it was a false alarm. The wind had just blown it down the street a couple of blocks.

So, the old can – even more cracked after its latest jaunt around the neighborhood – is back in our garage. We’re trying another tack. Daniel is using it as a basketball hoop; slamming ball after ball into it from all corners of the garage. I figure it’s just a matter of time before Daniel breaks it down into small enough pieces that it can be bagged up and put in our regular garbage can.



  1. Try filling the can and taping a large note across the top asking the collector to please dispose of the container as well as the trash inside. It cracked me up when you said your wife wrote, “trash,” on the side, of course it is trash!

    Oh, and if you don’t already you should wrap (even box!) and label any large pieces of broken glass so the collector doesn’t hurt himself!

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