Garbage (actual)

[originally posted February 24, 2016]

I know you’ve been wondering this as much as I have: In NYC, if you pay a junk-picker-upper to take away a bunch of garbage, where do they take it? This weekend I voluntarily found the answer … because … well, I’m moving (within the city), had things to dispose of, and have a burning curiosity to understand pretty much anything I don’t know. In the past, I’ve paid a junk man, but just didn’t want to wait this time.

– It’s called a “Transfer Station” (no dumps/junkyards in the city)
– I’m told it’s called that because it’s where garbage goes before being transferred to its final resting place
– The one I visited is in Brooklyn, near the water, about 15 minutes’ drive from Manhattan
– This one transfers the garbage to a barge. I don’t want to know where that barge goes
– You have to wear a yellow safety vest if you are the person dumping the garbage. They don’t like to loan you one if you don’t bring one
– It’s basically a giant warehouse full of garbage. They use heavy equipment to shove it against the backwall in a giant mountain of garbage
– All those carefully tied, carefully handled bags of garbage we New Yorkers are forced to leave in good condition by the curb? Destroyed, decimated, disintegrated in a heap
– When they open the roll up door to admit you to the garbage area, after you weigh your full vehicle, giant birds who were dining on the garbage fly away
– It doesn’t smell good
– They charge you by the ton to dump your garbage (in this case $100 per ton)
– You dump the garbage, weigh your empty vehicle, pay and drive away as fast as possible
– I already had huge appreciation for sanitation workers, but it increased even more. These were really nice, hard-working people.

Sometimes curiosity makes us do yucky things. My curiosity is now satisfied. I hope to never go back for further research. Now you don’t need to either.