Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The New Age Of THE DUMP

I have been in Tennessee almost 2 months now. I continue to learn and discover new things. One of my discoveries last week was the Knoxville Dump. I am not sure what you picture when you think of a dump. I am not sure what experience you have had with dumps. When I think of a dump, I picture HUGE piles of trash with bulldozers roving around. They shove the trash into bigger piles. Seagulls circle over head. If I am lucky I can throw in an image of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs emerging from somewhere among the piles.(Let's face it, the guy is ruggedly handsome)

My other images of dumps include money and injury. In Delaware, you take things to the dump and pay a fee. (You PAY for the risk of injury) My sister took some things to the dump and injured her foot. It got infected, REALLY bad. Dumps are dirty places after all. One of the first neighbors I met had just returned from "The Dump". He had an injury to his ankle. (Did I mention my image of dumps are dirty, dangerous places?)

My conversation with this neighbor and others gave me the impression "The Dump" was nearby and often used. I was not sure what to make of this information. In Delaware you usually loaded your pick up (or the truck of some kind soul you knew) and made a special trip to the far away dump.

As it turned out, I needed to empty my garage. My new lovely large garage was full of paper, boxes, assorted trash, and even some furniture that was of no use to anyone. I went in search of recycling centers and stumbled upon a Knox County Dump site. It was very clean and organized for a "Dump"

Instead of piles of trash, there were orderly rows of containers. There is always someone on hand to oversee and answer questions. You drop off scrap metal in one area, electronics to recycle in another, then continue around on your track. You can then recycle cans, paper, and cardboard before you final stop at the trash containers.

It should be mentioned here that I was not sure what to make of these containers. They were quite like ones you see in Delaware, except that attached and where you put your items in there were LARGE compactors. Every so often as you unloaded, it would start up and crush/shove your items into the larger container.

When I asked questions (remember I am a chatty Cathy), I found out some people don't pay for trash pick up. They just come there. I recycled all I could and returned with the metal and furniture. Since I had scoped things out I knew what to do. I pulled up and attempted to lift my dresser into the "large items" container. A kind soul behind me helps me lift it in. The compressor started immediately. I literally jump back in a mild startled horror as the dresser is crushed and splinters in front of me.(It is one thing to get rid of something, another entirely to see it die in front of you) My helper looked at me and smiled," I hope you hadn't changed your mind." he said. I got in my van and departed grateful to not have had to pay money, not be injured but saddened that any of us needs a dump.


  1. Guess What!? While in Vermont we learned that their dump has somehow transformed their system so that they now capture methane gas from decomposing stuff (I guess cow manure, what else decomposes in Vermont to create methane gas?) and have CONVERTED IT TO ENERGY! Talk about going green! I love it!

  2. Who knew that dumps could be so cool? It's taken long enough, but I'm glad that at least some places are giving serious and creative thought into better ways of dealing with "trash."