Six Reasons Why We’ll Miss Dumpsters in Denver

If dumpsters were prettier, could we keep them?EXPAND
If dumpsters were prettier, could we keep them?
Dennis Hill at Flickr

By 2018, there will be no more dumpsters in the alleys of Denver, or so the city says. They’ll be gradually replaced between now and then by plastic rollaway carts. Supposedly, the move will cut down on waste and encourage recycling, and discourage illegal dumping as well.

But it’s also the end of an era for the city of Denver, and while it’s not the biggest issue facing our neighborhoods, it’s clearly something that’s deserving of discussion. Or, at least, an elegy…and six reasons why the passing of the dumpster might just be a dumpster fire of an idea.

First thing on this guy's want list: a stepladder.
First thing on this guy's want list: a stepladder.
Wel Tchou at Flickr

6. Forlorn Dumpster Divers
Laugh if you want, but this is a serious question for those live-simply extremists, either out of philosophy or need, who search dumpsters for things they can still use or repurpose. This group is broad in scope: the homeless population, local artists who thrive on found objects as a medium, and hoarders who we need for our exploitative cable-TV entertainment. 

At least this dumpster knows what it likes.
At least this dumpster knows what it likes.
Susan Sermoneta at Flickr

5. No Place for Inconvenient Trash
Look, sometimes you have something you need to get rid of and it's too big for your bin. Or worse, you don’t even want to admit it’s your own trash. We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s that living room carpet that your diabetic pug has been peeing on for the better part of a year, and you’re finally at the point where you can admit that the spot-cleaning isn’t working. Maybe it’s your ex-couch that no charity staffers in their right minds will take and even a free notice on Craigslist hasn’t eliminated. Maybe you found three boxes of a former tenant’s bondage-porn collection. Whatever it is, you want it gone, it’s too big for the bin, and you sure as hell don’t want anyone tracing that back to you. You have enough problems. Too bad there’s not a huge anonymous garbage receptacle around. That’d be handy.

Also, I really admire the guts it takes to wear those pants.EXPAND
Also, I really admire the guts it takes to wear those pants.
Teague Bohlen

4. Dog Poop
Speaking of unwanted shit in your trash bin, there’s a sense of property rights that comes into play with the carts that just doesn’t with the dumpster. The dumpster belongs to everyone. It’s the most communal thing within blocks of your house save for the parks — and even then, the dumpster doesn’t try to close its lid at dusk. The dumpster is perhaps the most egalitarian resource we have in this city, and we’re tossing that aside so we can feel some righteous indignation when some anonymous dog walker puts anonymous crap from some anonymous dog in your bin. (And that's the best-case scenario, mind you.) This is just asking for neighborly resentment, propriety bin-wars and passive-aggressive, snottily written homemade signage.

Continue to see our top three reasons why we'll miss dumpsters in Denver.

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