The trash can talks volumes about the person who threw trash in there (Bedford 21). A trash can contain all manners or refuse from food remains to pieces of papers, damaged electronic devices and many more. So when I had the opportunity to check out on a neighbor’s trash can, I found lots of garbage including food remains, used baby diapers, stale fruits and vegetables but one thing that stood out was the number of very expensive broken kitchenware ranging from plates to cups and bowls. Out of the seven days that I collected data, five days had a broken item. There had to be a reason as to why this was the case because it is quite abnormal there had to be a broken item every two days of the week.
List of items thrown away include,
Papers of paper
Damaged electric cables
Bicycle and bicycle spare parts
Used sanitary towels
Having gotten a record of all that was found in the trash can the entire week, I sampled it and made my assumptions about this family. First of all, I got to establish that there was a young child who was about a year old. He was the reason for the so many broken utensils. These broken utensils were rather expensive and with that I presumed that the household belonged to the middle class. There was a broken bicycle and a few bicycle spare parts. The bicycle seemed to belong to a child who is around seven years. This told me that maybe the child did not need the bicycle anymore or that it had gotten old and so, therefore, they needed a replacement. This helped confirm my assumptions about the socioeconomic class of the family because it is not in all households that one can find a discarded bicycle and shaving machine. Many middle class family find it easier discarding something they find not very useful even if it was in a good condition in order to get a new one or just to rid themselves of unwanted items ().
I was able to tell that the family may be consisting of four members, that is, two parents and their two children. This is so because there was a substantial amount of toddler food remains and a bicycle belonging to a five to seven year old. There were a couple of papers that had painted drawings and this also confirms that there was a child who was trying their hand at drawing and paintings. This means that there were a total of two children in the household. Then there was a beard shaver which shows that there was a grown man who could be assumed to be the father and the used sanitary towels were a pointer that there was a woman who I assumed was the mother of these children.
Bedford, Debora, J. Garbage Disposal. North Mankato: Smart Apple Media. 2006
Clement, Tisdell. Resource and Environmental Economics: Modern Issues and Applications. London: World Scientific Publishing. 2010
Melosi Martin. Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform, and the Environment. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh. 2005