52 Weeks of Neighboring - Week 31

52 Weeks of-logo.png

Neighboring Tip of the Week - Meet your trash collector and offer them a cup of coffee.

Over the past week, we have been thinking about underappreciated professions in our neighborhoods, and we think trash collecting resides right at the top of the list. Seemingly, the job has become something that is taken for granted by many folks. Take a moment to imagine what our cities would look like without this profession. Not so appealing, right? The reality is: we, as a community, need trash collectors!

This week, when your trash collector rolls by, you could be ready. This may mean waiting by your window or in your front yard to hear the familiar sound. When they arrive, you may need to grab their attention with a wave or a cheerful greeting. Following this greeting, here are three possible goals you may want to achieve, but feel free to make your own, as well!

1. Thank them for their service.

2. Offer them a cup of coffee (or find out what else they like to drink instead).

3. Learn their name.

What happens if you do not achieve any of this? Take heart! Even a wave from afar is a success. You may be the only one who waves to them all day. Each of these actions communicates to the collector that you appreciate their service in the community. To use one of the Neighboring Movement’s favorite metaphors, what would your neighborhood soup taste like without your trash collector? We think it might be a little on the unappetizing side…

Other thoughts:

  • Be mindful that your trash collector is on a schedule, so don’t delay them.

  • If you don’t have regular trash service, look for other underappreciated professions - school bus drivers, school paras, mail deliverers, and grocery checkout workers are all alternative possibilities.

Happy neighboring!