NR Digital

Country Life

Trash Talking

by Richard Brookhiser

Urban garbage goes down a chute, or is carried, to the basement of the apartment building, whence, by a process most of us do not understand, it ends up on Staten Island. (Garbage trucks, one would think from their name, play a role.) In the country we are more intimate with our own detritus.

My town has a transfer station — universally called the dump — and unless you pay for a service to pick up your waste, you must take it there yourself. Once upon a time the dump was a smoldering slope southeast of town where people simply pitched everything, releasing smoke and toxins into the pure mountain air. But even the country is green now, and we recycle, though the dump is still a funky place.

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