Ever since 1990, when I first moved to South Deerfield, I’ve been going to the dump. Never hired anyone to take out my papers and my trash. No, I’d go, loading up for many years my tired old Toyota Avalon, or, after 2006, my trusty trash day pick-up truck. It seems there is something every week that requires the use of a truck, so I am always glad that I kept the truck after the cafe closed down.
Éach town’s dump is a little different, and I have been making Saturday rounds at the WRATs dump in Wendell. There, the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet, Matt, greets you with a smile. He has one arm, and works that one arm harder than many people can do with two. He sat with a young woman leaning on a gray Subaru, who talked about the fastest she’s ever ridden on a bike downhill. There is a take-it-or-leave-it room, a building with open sides, and a staircase to nowhere. That’s where you toss metal. I was also happy to see a Salvation Army donation container, that saves a trip to Hadley.
We have been making many prodigiously full loads to the dump, as Mary cleans out her house to move to South Deerfield. It’s amazing what you collect over 30 years…so many things that it’s just hard to part with. Others it’s easier. She has taken her time, not tried to get it all done in a few sittings. It’s piece by piece, which pile, box or bucket does it go in?
The dump in South Deerfield has a different vibe. It’s more businesslike, less familiar dumpmasters. They have no take-away shed, and it’s all big containers, with compactors for the paper, two new navy bins stretching way out. They paved an enormous expanse of the area behind the recycling bins, and it looks like a parking lot without lines. I told the masters about the solar project that will place hundreds of panels out behind their little hut. “I hadn’t heard of that,” said the dump guy. He didn’t seem interested in finding out any more.