Special Pickup Garbage Day

This notice appeared on the apartment “foyer” wall.  Foyer is not exactly the word but will do for now.

IMG_1707We could not read it but we figured that it was something to do with trash – we can “read” pictures.  And whatever it was, it was going to happen May 24, 2013.  When that day came we were amazed at what we saw!  People started bringing all sorts of trash out of their apartments and dumping it on the sidewalks and parking areas in front of their apartment buildings.

IMG_1705This was the pile in front of one of the apartment buildings across the street from our apartment.   The government allows people to sort through these piles for 24 hours and take what ever is useful.  We saw a car filled with old suitcases driving down our street.  Other cars filled with various “treasures.” The people who do this tend to be the poorer class of people – many of them were Roma people (politically incorrect to call them gypsies).

IMG_1708This is what that same pile looked like the next day.  People still going through the piles and claiming items.  We saw some people that sat by their piles until their relatives or friends showed up in a car or truck to haul it away.  Men from our apartment building were taking building materials and trash from the basement and putting it out front; but our building did not have as much trash as some of the others.  Some places, the trash filled the sidewalks.

Garbage Day 2Here is another view taken of the same pile (it was by far the biggest pile on our street!) taken by Sister Smith.

Garbage Day 3This picture also taken by Sister Smith of the same pile on our street.  In this view, you can see the mission home across the street.  Brick on the bottom and green-gray paint on the top.  Except part of the building is brick all the way up.  (Do you notice the red tiles and the gray tiles on the sidewalk?  The red are a bicycle lane!!! And if you are not careful and watchful, the bicyclists get mighty close and scare you to death!!!!)

We had at least 3 garbage trucks come down our street the next day and we were amazed to see the trash gone!  We found out later that each district in Budapest has a certain day for this trash pickup every year.  And this goes on all over the country.  It is probably a logical way to get rid of large household trash in a country where the majority of the people do not have cars to take their trash to the dump!

Garbage Day 1This is a before picture – on the mission home side of the street.  Below is the after picture.

IMG_1709Here are the trash men with a final sweep of one of the piles.  AMAZING!

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