One fundamental change brought by our move to the country is in our trash. Not so much in what we produce, mind you, but in how it gets out of our house.

Back in suburbia, twice a week a truck would roll down the street with relative reliability and gather up our refuse. That is an option out here in Wirtz, but it is much simpler (and cheaper!) to drive four miles up the road and toss the trash in the set of dumpsters set up for that purpose.

Franklin County maintains almost 70 sites where you can pull up and dump your trash. Ours happens to be on the road that we need to take to go pretty much anywhere, so most mornings, I haul that bag of yesterday’s trash (and cat litter) with me, deposit it, and get on my way.

Except this morning, the cans were gone. Instead of the 10-12 dumpsters in their semi-circle near Brooks Mill Road, there was just an empty patch of gravel.

Perplexed (and motivated to unload that dirty cat litter), I moved on to my next stop, the recycling center. I am slowly but surely breaking down our moving boxes and recycling them. Our moving company had promised to come collect them, but it turns out that they will only do so when they have a truck in the vicinity, and we are learning that their trucks seem to never be in this corner of Virginia. Fortunately, the recycling center is really nice! It’s another set of very clean dumpsters specifying newspapers, cardboard, plastic, and cans. Moreover, upon learning of my dilemma, the gentleman on duty  kindly offered the use of the large dumpster on their premises.

I didn’t realize that was for trash! I exclaimed.

“Bring it on,” he replied.

“But, you know, it’s cat litter.” He assured me that they had surely dealt with fouler deposits.

Hauling one’s own trash to the mini-dump (or recycling center) adds to the feeling that we’re camping out here. Our eldest child, in particular, has expressed her disdain for the exercise. But I admit I felt great relief when, on my return trip, I noticed a truck with a roll-off dumpster in the Brooks Road location. I have since learned that this is part of a large trash-collection-modernization plan, thanks to the Smith Mountain Eagle. But I’m glad our five-minute trash trip is back in business.

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