Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Dump

It was beyond me, but for some reason when my mom and my sister were each up to visit, they had to check out the dump. We drove up the hill, down the dirt road, over the electric bumpers (to prevent bears from walking in) and into the dump. We drove past the pile of old cars, refrigerators, bed frames and other whatsits. Past the tire pile and building supply mound. To the burning incinerator cave that we throw our garbage into. My sister got a kick out of the sign warning people of what not to burn, which someone spray painted over with the words, "Some people like the smell of burning dog shit."
Now, whenever we have out of town visitors, we include the dump on our tour itinerary. Because now that I've looked at it in all seasons, from different perspectives, I can see the intrigue. You can see cars that have literally been driven into the junk pile to die, stripped of parts, bashed in by bored teenagers in the automobile graveyard. Some cars still have fins on them, models from 60 years ago. It's like a museum, where olden-day appliances and furnishings are on display, perched upon by fat ravens.
Today, I loaded Abby in her car seat, the garbage in the back, and drove up the hill to the dump.
The familiarly pungent smell of burning plastics, rubber and mystery materials stung my nose and stuck to my coat and mitts. Abby watched from her vantage point, listening to the town's only honky-tonk radio station, picked up from Whitehorse. I hurled our bags and boxes in. I so do miss a good recycling program and do cringe at throwing away reusable materials.
And I know how environmentally unfriendly it is to burn garbage. Never was this point made more clear than the day after Christmas when everyone threw out their boxes, wrapping, tape and bags. There was a billowing tower of black smoke rising from the dump furnace, visible and easily smelled all around Ross River.
I finished stepping over the garbage that other people dropped on their way to the furnace hole (or, as I've seen before, thrown from their car windows as they drove by, "aiming" towards the incinerator). I threw in our last bag, scared the ravens to give Abby a show, watching big, black silky birds dance in the air. I got back in my seat with snowflakes on my eyelashes and face, and we took off.
If you come to visit, I promise you a good dump run to round off your trip!

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