When I called Buncombe County Solid Waste and Environmental Control to complain about my neighbor’s yard, which for the past year has been getting buried by cans, plastic, boxes, bottles and other recyclables, and most recently globs of table scraps, that was the answer I got! [“That’s a common practice around here.”]
None of the recyclables have been rinsed, and even though they are in bags, the bags have been sitting in the yard for a year, torn and spilling trash everywhere. What really gets me though, is the table scraps — for the squirrels, they said.
Since when do squirrels eat chili? Or Hamburger Helper? How about some spicy Mexican cornbread? I thought squirrels ate acorns and pine seeds, vegetables and a little fruit. And if you’re not going to sit and watch the little critters and enjoy their antics, why feed them at all? I see plenty of acorns and pine seeds to feed all the squirrels I want in my yard.
What I don’t want is rats, raccoons, opossums and other creatures of the night that may have rabies. And … my dogs eat [their] scraps. (Dogs will be dogs, but I do not like them to eat something that has been sitting in [a] house/yard for days). [They] have a dog, why don’t [they] give the scraps to him/her? Why don’t [they] just throw them in the garbage?
So now you’re going to say I’m a city person, and I’m not used to this culture. That’s true. But I spent every summer on a 150-acre farm in the middle of nowhere in Maine. The only thing my grandparents threw out for the wildlife was watermelon rind, pea pods, cornhusks and such.
If this is common practice that has been passed down from generation to generation, it’s time to clean up your act. It isn’t the 1800s anymore. We have service that comes right to your house; imagine that. We also have places to take hazardous waste, junk vehicles, etc.
This isn’t just a neighborhood squabble; this is about saving our Earth.
— Aila Sundelin